I came across this handsome raptor a couple weeks ago in an area northeast of Denver . It was gracious enough to let me snap a bunch of pictures although unfortunately I have not seen it since.
Prairie Falcons are quite common in the western United States and are a very popular bird to be used in falconry .
A late afternoon drive turned out to be well worth the time as I came across this magnificent raptor. This Prairie Falcon was initially watching over a busy road but then moved to a less hectic area and allowed me to get quite close.
Like many falcons, these raptors can be quite vicious and dine primarily on other birds including larks, doves and swallows. If you look closely, it would appear this one recently ate judging by the red on its beak.
View more images of the encounter with this falcon below.
While at the top of Montgomery Pass (12,000 feet) in northern Colorado, this Prairie Falcon performed a dive down the mountainside. We were actually taking pictures of Pikas when this flash through the sky caught my eye. Only had time to snap a couple of quick pictures as the falcon dove at an extremely high rate of speed. I suspect he was hunting the same Pikas that we were taking pictures of. The Prairie Falcon doesn’t normally reside at such high altitudes so it was quite a surprise to see one up so high.