1. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Types of Falcon

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Elgaisma, Aug 4, 2010.

    My main character is a King who turns into a falcon in my first book I haven't really specified what kind or described the bird itself. For my second book the falcon becomes more of a fixture.

    I know bits but not a huge amount I am torn I like the idea of him being a white Gyr Falcon as it is the traditional bird of the hunting King. Does anyone know if the Gyr Falcon dives much I can't find many facts on it?

    Or do you have another idea? The peregrine is the one I am most familiar with and sometimes see in the garden.

    Has anyone got a photograph of a white gyr falcon I could use on a website?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see how you 'can't find many facts' on any of the falcon varieties, as just a split-second google search will turn up more than you need to know...
    http://www.google.com/webhp?rls=ig#hl=en&rls=ig&q=falcon+breeds&aq=f&aqi=g-e9g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=f9519659d5d079d0

    same goes for pictures, with the 'images' option on google...
    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&rls=ig&q=falcon%20breeds&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can use google, research is my talent but as I was taught at university an encyclopedia or reference book is only the beginning. With a falcon or any bird of prey nothing beats real life experience. Although we occasionally get Gyr Falcons in my area I have never seen one. The websites don't tell me about their dive, so I need to know if they can, I am guessing they do as medieval Kings used them for hunting. I don't think all falcons dive. My English may have been bad but it was specifically the dive of the Gyr Falcon I had looked and couldn't find what I was looking for. All I can find is that they will take on a brown bear by dive bombing it but I don't understand if thats a swooping dive to capture food or if its just a protection and if its something it does only occasionally

    I only know the birds of prey we have in my area, have never really seen any anywhere else. I was hoping someone with Falconry experience or birdwatching experience maybe able to tell me more about their flight and which ones they find the most regal. The people on this site are writers, the wikipedia is written by a falconer/ornithologist etc the information given is rather bald.

    I do intend to go down to our local centre, but as I am moving right now I can't get there for a few months, and I want an image that I have permission to use and would not run into issues using on a website. Moving means I am poorer than I would like right now and if someone could help out that would be great if not I will buy an image or plump for a peregrine. I have managed to join a falconry forum but again a writer who can help would be useful.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Pardon my saying so, but your talent needs some dusting off.

    Yes. Writers, not falconers.
    Why are you even looking on Wikipedia? Wikipedia is a shallow and not pafrticularly reliable source. Use google, but don't rush to a wiki page if you want reliable information.

    Have you considered asking members of a falconry forum? They are easy to find. Google falconry forum.

    EDIT: I do see you edited your post after the initial query, and have indeed found a falconry forum. You should be able to find a great deal of reliable information even before you ask questions, by browsing the site.

    That really makes a lot more sense than asking a random group of writers. Asking us makes slightly more sense than standing in a shopping mall with a clipboard to take a survey. After all, someone you accost there might be a falconer...
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am quite happy for nobody to answer it if they don't have any useful indepth knowledge of the subject. But there maybe someone here who has seen them or has a photo. In fact with a white gyrfalcon in the wild its more likely here than on the UK falconry forum (the US one requires me to fly a bird to join)

    A writer will describe a falcon in flight differently to a falconer and if they have seen them in action would be a better source for my story. A falconer will give me too much info I don't need plus these are captive birds. You don't need to be a falconer to see one in the wild

    I have used many sources but wikipedia is no more shallow than any other encyclopedia or website just need to check the references and who wrote the piece. The source for the gyrfalcon is good. (part of being a good researcher is knowing the origin of your sources), for things like birds wikipedia is a very good starting place. I always ignored my university lecturers and used the Encyclopedia Britannica at uni as my starting place, always got well researched at the end of my piece. I have researched for several history books, site reports etc,

    You don't need to be a falconer to see a falcon in flight, I am neither bird watcher or falconer but have a slight interest in the Peregrine Falcon which I see from my living room window. I thought I was safe in assuming site members may have seen the birds in action, and varieties I won't get to see out of my window. I am safe in the assumption that a good portion of members of the forum have eyes, windows, been on holidays, cameras etc

    Here that particular falcon is rare, I have seen pictures in history books. but having researched my question is not answered
     
  6. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Well as for visual I'd suggest youtube or something like that. I do a fair amount of bird watching and if I'm curious about an exotic bird or species that isn't in my area I always go there to see what they behave like in the wild or in some cases captivity.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    d'uh Cogito is right my brain needs dusting off. I found my original falcon info there :) thanks I knew this board would help might message the people who posted the videos ask if I can use one on my website.

    Thanks Terra, I made the right decision the pure white gyrfalcon is beauiful it maybe we worth going back and tweaking my first novel for.
     
  8. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    You're welcome. Sounds beautiful.. now I have to look it up... :p
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    fyi, google has a 'videos' option... one click would've given you a variety of 'in-flight' action viewings... many more than just going to youtube...
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    found it thanks maia-the bird is amazing I am actually completely rewriting my first novel to incorporate it. I still haven't had my main question answered though I now know it will dive for protection the Gyrfalcon will dive bomb wolves and bears, there is a fabulous video of one taking on a wolf. But they seem to get their food mostly from other birds in the air. I need to know if they will dive for a rodent or small animal when outside the Arctic circle like a peregrine does or if they do mostly take on other birds.
     
  11. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Keep researching. Maybe try googling their behaviors or hunting behaviors. :)

    Thanks Maia I didn't think of that.. I keep forgetting so much lately. *facepalm* :rolleyes:
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    tried that lol And the falconry forum require me to fly a bird before joining so thats out:) I have emailed someone off a website see if I get a return, and if I can use one of their pictures, if I donate what i can to their centre.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is more than one falconry forum
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto cog's remark above... google for chats and blogs for falconry enthusiasts... and just ask!
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know that but so far all 3 I have tried require a bird I am not prepared to lie. I have my response from the local falconry centre, they need to go and find out for me lol but hopefully the people I have contacted at the other place will know as they are gyrfalcon enthusiasts and study them in the wild. I really need an ornotholgist who specilises in that type of falcon flying in the wild. A Falconer is not what I need. I have fired an email off to a friend who specialises in bird bones see if she knows anyone.

    My other alternative is change the name and make up a variety that does what I need:) advantage of a fantasy novel
     
  16. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Google ornithologist research? There's got to be some bird watching enthusiasts out there that know more. Maybe there's some other forums for falconry too. Keep looking. :)
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    :) I've cheated lol Just going to call him the Great White Falcon. I'm going to make him pure white, and tweak a photo I have of a peregrine:)
     

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