Thursday, November 20, 2008

Altai Falcons

... are what the the old falconers called the Gyr- Saker crosses of the high deserts and lost mountains of Central Asia. Another common name, probably Turkic, is "Shunkar".

From her (enormous) size and color this female in the breeding center outside of Almaty has Gyr genes, but her head shape and long tail, like that of my bird, is still "Sakery".

This mixed pair probably shows Gyr at least in the black color of the one.

Young from pair above.



These two were taken by my friend, dog breeder and ornithologist Andrey Kovalenko, of a bird on fall migration near Almaty. Nether of us would assign it a definite species.

There are roadless areas the size of Minnesota in Asia, with mountains, and political barriers. No westerner and very few easterners has anything but a hazy idea what is out there.

2 comments:

mdmnm said...

"There are roadless areas the size of Minnesota in Asia, with mountains, and political barriers. No westerner and very few easterners has anything but a hazy idea what is out there."

I find that rather heartening.

steveo_uk said...

what awesome looking birds, love the speckled patterning