I’ve seen a few fics and tumblr posts identifying Louis as a hawk, but he’s actually a falcon.
So here’s some anatomical reasons why Louis is a falcon and not a hawk. I will mainly be comparing him to a Peregrine since they are the most recognizable falcon and are probably the species Louis resembles the most. Peregrines are also found on every continent (except Antarctica) so it’s the most likely species to base Louis off of. (Not the coolest though)
1. The Malar stripe.
Pretty much every falcon has one. These are the dark “triangles” underneath the eyes. Some species have it more pronounced than others, some species like the gyrfalcon or Merlin don’t have it at all. It’s purpose is to reduce or prevent sun glare.
2. The beak.
Falcons have a very unique beak when compared to that of hawks. The beak is a lot rounder and has a very distinct tomial tooth, the sharp triangular-shaped ridge on the outer edges of the upper mandible. Louis also share’s the peregrines yellow cere and gape flange and the black to gray/silver coloration of the beak.
3. The Eyes.
Louis shares same bright yellow flesh around the eye as peregrines, along with the same eye color.
Here’s an adult Red Taileld Hawk’s beak and head in comparison.
A protective coloration of some animals in which parts normally in shadow are light and those exposed to the sky are dark. (Sharks and other marine animals have this also). Most hawks and falcons share this trait, but Louis has the same slate gray back and light underbelly as you guessed it, a peregrine.
5. The feets
Note Louis’ feet compared to the falcons above and below. They’re the same bright yellow and have the same long toes. Falcons have longer and more delicate toes than that of a hawk or eagle. This is because falcons don’t kill with their talons, they use them to hold prey. The tomial tooth is used specifically to severe the spine/spinal cord. They’re final blow is not with their talons but beak.
Now my boy Louis is obviously a falcon at this point but I’m gonna talk about his size anyway. My 1st thought upon seeing Louis and Hawthorne together was “wow that’s a big falcon, that can’t be right” but this is coming from a person who has only ever seen a few falcons in person with a falconer (and none of them were a Peregrine). So lets compare him to things I have seen many times: Hawks. Now their are two important distinctions to make between hawks because I’m only going to be talking about a specific kind.
Buteo vs Accipiter
Buteos are broad winged and bulky hawks, think Red tailed or Ferruginous. Us Americans refer to them as hawks but everywhere else they’re Buzzards. They’re probably what most people think of when you say “hawk”
Accipiters are smaller and more angular, with longer tails and shorter wings. These include Goshawks and sparrowhawks. Some common ones are the Northern Goshawk, Sharp shinned and Cooper’s hawks.
So with that explanation out of the way, lets actually include measurements. The largest falcon species, the Gyrfalcon reach roughly 24 inches while Peregrines come in a close at 23 inches. Now keep in mind your average Buteo comes in at about 23-26 inches (give or take), so the largest falcon species can rival the size of some of the larger hawk species. So Louis’ size is probably realistic but Idk he does still seem a little too big (to me at least). This may also be because he just doesn’t have that sleek falcon look, he’s appears to be a bit bulky and cumbersome but that’s more likely the fault of not having enough polygons to accurately represent or rig an anatomically correct model. Games absoulety butchering birds is pretty normal since they’re often small figures with as light a model as possible. But yeah he’s a post apocalyptic falcon so I guess he can be any size he wants.
Hi again! I just saw a post of a hybrid falcon, (can provide a link if you need it). So birds can breed like dogs, like my hybrid pit/ridgeback (so we think)?
As far as I know, hybrids only really happen in human-controlled breeding, not so much in the wild. They can mix, but in general they wouldn’t on their own.
My sponsor had a gyr/saker mix, it was really beautiful!
This is the first post in my all falconry/raptors blog. My main blog, withwingsonfeet has largely become so overrun with reblogs of things so I decided to set aside a place on the internet that I can refer folks to when they want to see my birds.
The url, terceleto, is a name I go by at several places on the net. It is also the falconry term for the male Aplomado Falcon. The blog title, Enraptured!, is my attempt at a terrible pun and also pretty accurately summarizes my feelings for raptors. They have stolen my attention for sure and are the driving force of my life.
A quick explanation of my photo caption/bird naming system shall conclude this starter post:
HATCHYEAR SPECIES “NAME”
It seems intuitive but some folks get confused (it doesn’t help when I use nicknames for the birds, like Barbaaarian for Elena the Barbary).
Enjoy! I’ll post some photos from the past up here for now with new content to come this fall!
I had a pretty traumatic experience with Ollie on Thursday evening. I was flying him down the road from the house I’m staying at, when he saw a bug flying back towards the house and took chase. He ended up on the roof of the house. That’s when he noticed the large gyr-prairie hybrid falcon perched out in a chain-link weathering area in the back. He saw a tuft of feathers (left-over food) on the bird’s feet and decided to take it from her. He flew THROUGH the chain link and tried to grab the large falcon’s feet. Needless to say, it did not end well for him.
The falcon grabbed him and I went full mama bear. I got in there within seconds and pried the falcon’s talons off of him (she had one foot around his neck and the other around his abdomen). I carried him into the house with him alarm calling the whole way. When I got into my room, I checked for punctures but couldn’t find any. I noticed that his leg was held out funny and he couldn’t walk well. My biggest fear was internal damage. A punctured lung or internal bleeding would be the end for him. I tried calling around to all the local vets but it was 6pm and none of them had after-hour avian vets on staff. So I had to wait until morning to take him in.
The next day I took him in and the vet did an exam. He was also unable to find any punctures on him, but prescribed antibiotics just in case. He could not feel any broken bones or dislocations either, but wanted to do an x-ray just in case. The anesthetic they used was isoflurane, one of the gentlest and most commonly used in birds. Still, after just one x-ray, Ollie responded poorly and stopped breathing. They had to insert a breathing tube and manually breathe for him for about ten minutes! His heart never stopped but it beat weakly. Finally, he started breathing again and eventually woke up just fine.
Due to his reduced function in the lower legs, the vets and I are guessing he has neurological damage in the lower lumbar region. This results in him being unable to properly place his legs, so he is off-balance and has trouble perching. The way he walks looks like he’s drunk - stumbling and wobbling. One leg is definitely worse than the other. The vet says his chances of recovering are fair, but not guaranteed. He prescribed anti-inflammatories as well to help with pain and swelling.
I now have Ollie in a small crate with cardboard on the inside of the door and mesh covering the side windows. It will restrict his motion, hopefully without damaging feathers. I have a piece of rug on the inside and made a nest for him out of a towel rolled up and shaped into a donut (a technique I learned from the wildlife rehabilitation center). He seems to really enjoy the “donut” and spends most of his time sitting in it, resting. Besides that, he still acts like himself. When I open the door, he comes out to sit with me. He takes food well and doesn’t seem to be in pain.
I take him out for a few short sessions each day to observe his progress, feed him, and maintain our relationship. Tonight he was able to perch better on my hand (not leaning as much or dangling a leg) and even managed a short flight! So it looks like he is slowly recovering. I was really excited to see him fly because it means his wings are still functional. He may never be 100% again, but I at least want him to be able to fly and perch, and his chances are looking pretty good! If he’s really lucky, he’ll regain full or nearly full function of his legs after a few weeks of rest. Nothing I can do now but keep him rested, give his medications daily, and wait and see.
Either way, he’s one lucky bird (though not the smartest)! He took on a very large raptor and is lucky to have come out of it alive. Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson too - big birds are dangerous! I never thought he would so blatantly challenge a larger falcon like that, especially from such a distance (I made sure to get what I believed to be a safe distance away before flying him), but now that I know how reckless he is, I’ll be sure to keep him far far away from any other birds in the future. I guess I raised him to be a little too bold