759. Iceland Falcon.
Falco islandus, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i. p. 271 (1788) ; Naum. i. Taf. 22, figs. 1, 2, Taf. 390, fig. 2 ; Hewitson, i. p. 22, pl. vii. ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. i. pls. 11, 12 ; Newton, i. p. 46 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 414, pl. 13, left figure ; Dresser, vi. p. 25, pls. 370, 371 ; Saunders, p. 343 ; Lilford, i. p. 31, pls. 1C, 17 ; F. rusticolus, Ridg, p. 245.
Falki, Veidifalki, Valur, Icel. ; Falkur, Faeroe ; Islandsk-Falk, Dan.
Male ad. (Iceland). Head and nape dull white striped with slaty black, upper parts dark brownish slate, barred with buffy white ; the rump and upper tail-coverts dull slate-blue, barred with blue-grey ; quills slate-black on the outer web marked, and on the inner web barred with buffy white ; tail ash-grey barred with brownish slate and tipped with white ; chin and upper throat white ; rest of under parts white, the lower throat streaked with blackish brown, the breast and abdomen with blackish streaks terminating with a drop-shaped spot, the upper flanks with heart-shaped marks, the lower flanks and under tail-coverts with bars ; bill horn-blue, darker at the tip ; cere and legs yellow ; iris dark brown. Culmen 1.35, wing 14.5, tail 8.9, tarsus 2.3 inch. Female similar but larger. The young bird differs from that of F. gyrfalco in having the head lighter, in lacking the blackish moustachial streak, and in having the back and tail less marked with lighter colour.
Hab Iceland and southern Greenland, straying occasionally to continental Europe, Great Britain, and the East coast of North America. In habits it does not differ from F. gyrfalco. Its eggs, 3 to 4 in number, are laid in May and are yellowish clay-coloured, very closely marked with reddish orange, but some are white somewhat sparingly blotched with reddish orange, whilst others are more profusely blotched with dull, almost chestnut-red. In size they measure about 2.28 by 1.81.
Of Hierofalco uralensis, Severtz and Menzbier (Orn. Geogr. Europ. Ross. i. p. 288, 1882) (H. grebnitzkii, Severtz) which appears to be very similar to, if not identical with, the present species or F. gyrfalco, I have not been able to examine a specimen.
759. Falco islandus
759. Iceland Falcon.