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Twitch: Prairie Falcon

Coles County, IL

semi-overcast 33 °F

This morning, Simon picked me up at 5:30 to head down with his family to Coles County, IL to search for our Illinois lifer Prairie Falcon.

On the way, we did a bit of birding in Champaign while his dad was in a business meeting and misssd our secondary target, Snow Goose, but got point-blank views of a BARRED OWL right alongside the car!
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Soon, it flew to a nearby tree in the treeline:
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So within an hour, we were down at Coles County criss-crossing the country roads near the Magic Stump, a random stump in the middle of a random cornfield that has hosted overwintering Prairie Falcons (the only in Illinois) for the last ten years!

No falcons yet…
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We heard what we thought were Snow Geese overhead, but upon further inspection they turned out to be GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE:
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AMERICAN KESTREL female that kept tricking us throughout the day because they are also a falcon species:
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A “gray ghost” NORTHERN HARRIER:
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Unfortunately, despite a LOT of effort, we dipped on Prairie Falcon. You win some, you lose some — and we had a rollicking good time at that. Stay tuned, on tuesday I return back to NYC for my last semester of my undergrad!

Bird-of-the-day to the Barred Owl with runner-up to the Greater White-fronted Geese.

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1143 Species

Posted by skwclar 03:02 Archived in USA

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