Falcons of the World-Alaska/Arctic Circle

Good golly how about that ride from Santiago, Chile to Anchorage, Alaska eh?
7,890 miles as the Toyota crow flies.
We made it though, but I’m still bummed you threw my “80’s dance hits” mix tape out the window while we were flying over Mexico.
And so now here we are in the great beautiful North. Home of the largest falcon of North America, the Gyrfalcon.
In the summer Gyrfalcons can be found from around 60 degrees to 79 degrees North. Their breeding range covers parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Siberia.
Winter time ranges of Gyrfalcons is still largely unknown. While some birds remain on their breeding range others winter south. In North America occasionally in the United States and in Asia as far south as Central Asia.
Their favorite meal is Ptarmigan, who can blame them? But studies have found they can take just about any other bird it comes across.
Even short eared owls have fallen prey to a Gyrfalcon. With a bill sharp enough to sever the spine of any bird, the menu is bigger.
They are incredible hunters. Utilizing several different techniques to capture prey. From low fast flight, chasing and tiring the prey out.
To breaking the preys breastbone by forcing it into the ground. They strike prey in the air rather than grab with their talons.
They repurpose Ravens nests and tend to a clutch of 3-5.
Gyrfalcons tend to occur in three different morphs, a dark, a white, and a grey. Shown here is an adult white morph.
I really enjoyed the literature study for this painting. The gyrfalcon is really an incredible bird. I recommend Falcons of the World by Tom J. Cade
It has stunning artwork by R. David Digby and well detailed information on each fascinating member of this incredible group of birds. Falco.
Well The flying Toyota is packed up and I made a new mix tape. “Mo-Town Jams” if you throw this mix tape out the window, were stopping till you find it.
We’re heading to Australia to look at an owl there. I’m not sure which one we’ll decide when we get there.
It’s only 7300 miles.
We got this.
Hold on tight.

I left the window open and a bird flew in

Sitting on my chair again, a blank page at my disposal. It stands in place of the plywood of the previous project. My mind travels elsewhere. It travels out the window of my room.
Pushing aside the screen. Down the vine tangled walkway under my windowsill. It drifts down the street, past all the parked cars. It drifts upward, narrowly missing the roof tops. It picks up a burst of speed and goes up, over California, above the West coast, Drifting out over across the Pacific Ocean. Higher into the stratosphere it climbs. Until above it is the black of space.
There are no eagles flying where my mind is now. No air for one to breathe. Just my mind and maybe some space junk floating by.
For all the air breathing creatures my mind likes to render I wonder how it stays safe up there, what does it pick up out there that it isn’t down here on a chair in an apartment in California? It goes there every time, and passes a lot of airplanes and birds on its way up. I wonder if she crossed paths with it when she caught the red eye out of LAX.
I suppose its possible but, it’d be too dark out and I really don’t think she’d recognize it anyway.