Is this a photo of a peregrine falcon?

I was out at the slough today, it was really windy and there were lots of gulls blowing about overhead. Then, in that weird but awesome human brain pattern-anomoly-findy way, I saw this potentially not-gull flying over and took some snaps. It’s possible that this bird is, in fact, a gull. But to me it looks a bit like a peregrine falcon.

(It’s kind of killing me that I can’t recognise this bird. I know a lot about peregrines, I used to work falconry birds at the zoo. I fed the peregrine every day for a year.)


Not a gull. :cool:

Dusky immature-could have been a merlin-they are darker like that…

Clearly an adult Peregrine Falcon, from the slaty back, barred breast and belly, and large, dark facial mask. (Note that the individual linked to by White SIFL is an immature with a streaked belly.)

Merlin is excluded by the barring on the underparts, the strong facial mask, and general proportions. This field marks also exclude any other North American falcon.

Thanks all. Like I said, I kind of snapped at it without really looking, so it didn’t get filtered through that part of my brain that identifies birds.

IME, merlins show a noticeably lower aspect ratio.