Peregrine Falcon 1858


A Rare Visitor.


On Saturday last while a son of George Sargeant of this town was engaged in planting his attention was arrested by a peculiar rustling noise indicative of unusual commotion among the feathered tribe. Looking upwards he perceived a short distance above him a crow in the talons of a very powerful bird descending in a straight line to the ground. The crow was disengaged by the fall and effected his escape but his captor was so stunned as to become an easy prey to Mr. Sargeant's gun. It proved upon examination to be the Falco peregrinus--Wandering Falcon of Linnæus, or the Grey Footed Hawk of Wilson. I have no authority that this species of birds was ever before taken in this State or in New England. Wilson's specimen from which his descrpition was compiled was captured in New Jersey, and Audubon's in Labrador or Newfoundland. The slight discrepancy between their descriptions is probably owing to the fact that the specimen viewed by the former was a female and had been dead a long time when received, whilst that of the latter was a male. Wilson's figure agrees exactly with the specimen (a female) before me with the single exception that he gives the bare orbital space orange instead of yellow.


The noble bird of prey (ranking with the Eagle and so called in contradistinction from the ignoble as the Kite and Buzzard,) was 18¾ inches in length and 42½ inches in extent of wings. The plumage although destitute of the briliancy of many other birds is peculiarly elegant. Possessed of a strong and compacted frame, a comparatively short neck, powerful thighs and talons, and wings of a peculiar structure, one cannot fail to perceive a special adaption to the habits and instincts which require strength and velocity. This is the species which figured so conspicuously in the days of falconry in England. Our friend Chamberlain is now preparing the bird for preservation.


F.


Vermont Phoenix, May 29, 1858.

Article by Charles C. Frost.


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