Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-36(R83)
1983 sighting resubmitted in September 2005
Information for this record is taken from a UFO sight record received 6 Apr 1983.

Common name:


Scientific name: Falco Rusticolus
Date: 2/1/83
Time: 3:00pm
Length of time observed: 2 hours
Number: one
Age: Juv/Imm
Sex: Female basic plumage
Location: Directly west of Kaysville exit on I-15 western most road bordering lake front
County: [Davis]
Distance to bird: 50 yards
Optical equipment: Bushnell binoculars 7x35; Bushnell spacemaster spotting scope; Nikon Fe 200mm lens
Weather: clear 
(Prior weather & number of days since change:)
 Mild warm no snow; last snowfall was in Dec 15
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The Gyrfalcon is a large falcon females weigh round 53 ounces.  They are heavy marked on the breast, they are broad across the shoulders and have a small head in comparison to their body immatures have a rather long tail.
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: The falcon was observed flying it came over head and stooped at a pheasant we saw running ahead of us.  I ran to flush the pheasant thinking the falcon would give chase.  The Gyrfalcon flew straight away then a Barn owl flushed from the side of a stream bank the Gyr turned and chased the owl forcing the owl to take cover in some cattails along the stream.  The Gyr then flew to a dead tree where it was photographed.  It sat in the tree for twenty minutes then flew low and powerful a good distance pumping its wings continuously it struck at something on the ground then it flew to a fence post where a rough-legged hawk Buteo lagopus was perched it forced the bueto from its post and remained perched for ten minutes and then flew again in the same fashion east flying low to the ground it was lost from sight.  I walked in the direction it disappeared, it was then spotted on another fence post, it was last seen flying west toward the lake
Habitat: Very flat void of cover used for grazing cattle occupied by pheasants and ducks and canada geese.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Prairie falcon is much smaller and lighter on the breast than an immature Gyr.
Goshawk do not make long powerful approaches at quarry in open country and prefer to hunt in cover.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have trained and flown three gyrfalcons in falconry.  observing hunting and flying have seen these gyrfalcons make over 600 kills.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made at time of sighting and later from memory
Observer: Steven R. Chindgren
Observer's address: 144w 625n. Centerville, Utah 84014   hm. 801 292-6817  wk. 801 535-7804
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Larry M. Barker  ph. 801 363-0563
Date prepared: 3/26/83
Additional material: Photo  [not in UBRC archives]
Additional comments: