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Falcon or Accipiter? Leeds UK (1 Viewer)

stevethehydra

Well-known member
I was watching a soaring Red Kite in Leeds the other day when it was briefly joined by another, smaller raptor, which was also soaring but flapping a lot more. It was hard to focus the camera on, hence only this one poor pic.

I got a strong Accipiter feel from it at the time, presuming Sparrowhawk although I did think that it didn't look quite as small in comparison to the Kite as I would expect a Sprawk to, but given how unlikely a Goshawk would be above an inner city area I assumed it must have been one. However on looking at the photo now, I'm seeing what looks much more like a falcon wing shape? (and an odd face pattern, but I'm guessing that's probably a photo artifact...)

Both Sparrowhawk and Peregrine are reasonably common in the area, if not so often seen as Red Kites. Kestrel and Common Buzzard are occasional, but this obviously isn't either of those. I'm now guessing Peregrine, though it certainly seemed much more like a hawk than a falcon in flight style at the time!
 

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curlewsandpiper1980

Well-known member
This is clearly a falcon.
The question is which species.
I am inclined to say peregrine or Merlin (which have strong fast wingbeat).

Someone with more experience with falcons should be able to tell which species by looking at the picture.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
Germany
This is clearly a falcon.
The question is which species.
I am inclined to say peregrine or Merlin (which have strong fast wingbeat).

Someone with more experience with falcons should be able to tell which species by looking at the picture.
As has been said by Joern and Tom, it's a Peregrine. The broad hips and tail base are a good indicator, as smaller falcons tend to have a narrower rear end.
 
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