Ron Pittaway posted on Ontbirds on 19
January 2004 that it is NOT a Prairie Falcon. The bird had checkered
black-and-white wing linings like many Peregrines. It completely
lacked the dark wing pits (axillaries) and usual dark wing linings
(coverts) of a Prairie Falcon. It didn't have a white area behind
the eye, which is typical Prairie Falcons. Interestingly, a band was
seen by three observers on its right leg. It's also tame .
Based on photos, it was thought most
likely to be a possible hybrid Gyrfalcon x Saker Falcon. Others
suggested that it was a Gyrfalcon x Peregrine, pure Gyrfalcon,
Tundra Peregrine, Introduced Peregrine, etc.
On 1 February 2004, Ron Pittaway posted
that he received new information from a reliable source about the
identity and origin of Toronto's mystery falcon, which was seen in
January. It is a hybrid Gyrfalcon x Barbary Falcon. It is a juvenile
female that escaped while being moved to a transport crate for
The Barbary Falcon is closely related to the Peregrine Falcon, but
is smaller and less bulky with a narrower moustachial streak. It is
northern Africa and the Middle East.