Today around 10:30 am I was amazed to see not one but two Gyrfalcon just west of Voyageur's National Park. I spotted the birds west of the fire tower along (Koochiching) County Road 11, about 10+ miles east of International Falls. As I saw the first of the two approach head on from the west, my first assumption of a moderately large sized bird was that it was a Raven. As it got closer I could tell it was a raptor, and I thought it might be a Goshawk. Then it got even closer, to where I was able to get decent detail with my binoculars; its narrower, sharply pointed wings definitely revealed it was a falcon, albeit a very large one; its color was brown above and lighter below, with no apparent facial "mask" or heavy barring below to indicate a Peregrine. Its flight was steady and wingbeats were slow and regular (as opposed to a flap-flap-glide of a Goshawk), but its speed was fast--before I knew it, a second identical-appearing bird had caught up with it while I was focused on the first one, and together they were out of sight to the north into Canada.
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