Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus)
Status in the Checklist Area - (11) Accidental

This falcon is about the same size as our common Peregrine Falcon. Found in the Okanagan of BC and in much of the western half of the United States, is sometimes encountered on the coast in our area mainly in the winter months.

Similar species:
Juvenile Peregrine Falcons lack the bluish wings and back of adults but do have a strong helmet and wide mustache.which Prairie Falcon's lack. The tundra population of juvenile Peregrine Falcon is paler brown and has a lighter face which appoaches how a Prairie Falcon may look. Note a paler breast on a Prairie Falcon, especially on an adult, and when in flight, all ages show dark underwing coverts and axillaries. See photos below. Interior populations of Merlin may be similarly coloured but Merlin are much smaller.

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)
Sibley, D. 2000

Noteworthy Data
February 13, 2011 Island 22, Chilliwack C. McDonald 2011c Perched in a cottonwood tree along the Fraser River.
December 1, 2010 Vye Road, Abbotsford G. Gadsden 2010e Flew over the road and perched on a power pole for a couple minutes before flying again.
January 18, 2010 McGuire Road, Chilliwack G. Gadsden 2010d Perched in a tree at the corner of Banford Road. Photographed.
January 30, 2008 Chilliwack Central Road, Chilliwack G. Gadsden 2008d Photographed.
December 16, 2006 Prairie Central Road, Chilliwack G. Gadsden 2006 Recorded on Christmas Bird Count. Photographed.
March 1, 2001 Young Road, Chilliwack D. Knopp 2001
J. Osterhold 2001
Field note documentation.
January 5, 1996 Cartmell Road, Chilliwack D. Knopp 1996
J. Brook
Field note documentation.
Fall/winter 1995 Sumas Prairie, Abbotsford D. Knopp 1995a Recorded on Sumas Bird Count.
December 18, 1993 Chilliwack Christmas Bird Count 1993 Recorded on Christmas Bird Count.
December 17, 1927 Chillliwack Birds of B.C.  
July 27, 1896 Chilliwack A. Brooks 1917 Juvenile.
Audio and Video    
None available

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