Originally Posted by Nambroth
A Gyrfalcon is significantly larger than a Peregrine...
Not only is it larger, but I doubt that a Gyrfalcon would winter as far South as Pennsylvania. A peregrine would usually only nest on a cliff face. I think your dealing with a member of the cooper hawk family. There are three hawks in this family. Below is three hawks in this family listed from the smallest to the largest.
1. The sharp shinned or blue darter hawk.
2. The Coopers hawk
3. And the goshawk.
Taken together they make up a group of hawks collectively known as "chicken" hawks. How cute is that?
One way to tell a peregrine falcon from a Coopers hawk is wing shape. A Coopers hawk has wide, broad, and blunt (straight) wings because it often hunts by zig zagging through thick cover. Think of a Coopers hawk like it was a crop duster plane.
A peregrine falcon on the other hand has a more slender body with swept, and sharp pointed wings like those seen on a F16 fighter plane and they can fly @ 33% the speed of sound.
A perigurine beats its wings so fast that they have almost a strobe light effect.
Edited by chickengeorgeto - 1/17/13 at 9:52pm