Re: Possible Grey Falcon at Fivebough Swamp, Leeton, NSW?

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Re: Possible Grey Falcon at Fivebough Swamp, Leeton, NSW?
From: Jonny Schoenjahn <>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 18:17:14 +0800
Hello Troy

Your four photos on the Flickr website show a Grey Falcon in its first year of 
age, i.e. hatched in spring 2009, typically October or so.
Notice the yellow legs and feet, wings broad at base and not acutely pointed, 
comparatively short tail.

The bird is just changing from juvenile to adult in plumage and bare part 
colours. Underwings are still heavily marked as in juveniles. About half of the 
underbody is already slightly darker grey as in adults, the lower part is still 
fairly pale as in younger juveniles. Also, bill, cere and the bare skin around 
the eyes seemingly are not quite as bright orange-yellow as in adults.

In other words, exactly how a Grey Falcon of that age should look like.

Sex, well, without comparison that can only be a guess. If that is allowed I 
would put my money on female. The proportions of head and bill are slightly 
different between male and female, males seems to have a comparatively shorter, 
less prominent or less heavy bill. Further, females seem to have a more bulging 
chest than males.

It's interesting that you saw only one bird. Often family groups remain 
together until May and possibly even later. There are not many good records at 
all for NSW, so I'm very grateful for that information.

All the best,

Jonny Schoenjahn
Perth, WA
Phone: (08) 9385 9939
SMS and Fax: (08) 9385 9801

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