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Massive Arctic predator gyrfalcon spotted in Ontario

Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 12:47 PM - A massive Arctic predator was spotted in LaSalle, Ont. in late December, thousands of kilometres away from its breeding ground.

The gyrfalcon, belonging to the world’s largest falcon species, was photographed at LaSalle’s Vollmer Pond near Windsor, Ont. and Essex County. According to recent reports, the bird may still be in the area.

Amateur bird-watcher Karen Hass told the CBC that she first thought the falcon was a peregrine. Hass photographed the bird and took to the online bird-watching community before realizing it was a gyrfalcon.

Gyrfalcons are rarely found in the Windsor-Essex region, CBC notes, and the last one spotted in the area escaped from private ownership.

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Tom Preney, a naturalist at the Ojibway Nature Centre in Windsor told the CBC that Hass’s spotting was an “incredible find.” Preney adds that he’s been “birding” for more than 10 years, but has yet to come across a gyrfalcon.

These massive falcons often prey on duck and waterfowl. Hass says it’s likely the bird will have made its way near a body of water.

SOURCE: CBC | Wikimedia Commons (top photo)

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