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Nov 29, 2014

Ducks protected by Gyrfalcon?

Photo by Tony Margiocchi / Barcroft Media

Now here's a picture you won't see everyday, unless you're visiting a zoo such as the Zoological Society of London's Whipsnade Zoo, near Dunstable 30 miles north of London.   The photo includes a Smew, a Hooded Merganser and a Common Eider   The zoo is using a Gyrfalcon, usually seen as part of the falconry exhibit, to help with seagull control at the penguin enclosure, to keep gulls from from attacking penguins and ducks at feeding time.   Gyrfalcons, in the wild, usually prey on ptarmigans, shorebirds, murres, dovekies, eiders and gulls.   One cannot help but wonder if the Gyrfalcons at Whipsnade ever prey on the Smews, mergansers and eiders at the zoo.   There is also a Zoological Society of London zoo at Regent's Park in London.

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