I checked out Bradford Farm at lunch today and I was lucky enough to see what I assume was Pete's falcon.

Driving south toward Bradford on Ben Williams Road, I noticed a compact flock of several hundred blackbirds flying overhead. When I pulled over and got out my binoculars, I could see that there was a raptor harassing the flock. The birds were all in silhouette, so I couldn't see any markings, but the silhouette was clearly a falcon and the size was about twice as large as the blackbirds.

The falcon would fly alongside the flock, then merge into the group and try to pick off a bird. No high-speed stoop. I watched for a couple minutes, hoping to see a successful hunt, but when I got out of my car to get a windshield-free view, I lost track of the flock.

This winter, Boone County has enough blackbirds to feed any number of wintering falcons. I hope the Bradford  bird will stick around and entertain us, and leave the shrikes and mockingbirds alone!

John Besser
Columbia MO
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On Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 10:57 AM, Edge Wade <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Congrats, Pete, on a good find.

It's fine for it to stick around, as long as it doesn't stick it to the Northern Mockingbird less than a mile south!

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter L. Monacell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2017 10:26:57 PM
Subject: Prairie Falcon at Bradford Farm

Dear MO-birders,

A Prairie Falcon was flying and perched in the northwest corner of
Bradford Farm this afternoon. Specifically, it was flying perpendicular to
and then perched along S Ben Williams Road, to the west of the northwest
pond. I was with it for less than a minute, but I did manage some photos.
I take the bird to be a first-year.

I apologize for the delay in posting; it took me a while to realize what I
had. Hopefully the falcon will stick around.

Happy holidays, and good birding,

Pete Monacell,
Jefferson City

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