Altai Falcon

In his monograph on the Gyrfalcon Eugene Potapov confirms that, in the high mountains of Central Asia, there are areas of hybridization between those recently and imperfectly separated species, the Gyrfalcon and the Saker. These are doubtless the semi – legendary “Altai falcon” or Shunkar of classical falconry.

I made a probable sighting on my first trip to Mongolia, in February. Last week, my friend Andrey Kovalenko of Almaty, Kazakhstan, ornithologist, sometime falconer, and “dog- in- law”, saw and photographed another likely specimen while hunting in the steppes north of town.

And here is Andrey with quarry from the same hunt. The tazi on the left, Berkut, is father of my Kyran.

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