Our birding experts answer your bird-related questions – is yours among them?
QCan you give us a clue about the prey being eaten here? We spotted the Peregrine high on an electricity pylon at Old Moor RSPB and it flew off carrying what we thought was a small wader. It landed on the next pylon and was soon busy plucking. All the feathers being dropped appeared white, but on closer views, the wing of the bird is entirely turquoise. One of the RSPB guys suggested it might be Shoveler, but the photo suggests the underwing is entirely turquoise, and anyway it doesn’t look big enough. We ended up thinking it must have been an exotic escapee. Alan Kydd
ALike you, we think this bird looks wrong for Shoveler. It does indeed look likely that this Peregrine’s dinner was some sort of exotic (escaped) bird, possibly a small parrot. However, it is also possible that the blue colour is not natural. We have recently seen photographs of gulls stained with dye or paint of a similar hue. If the prey were, say, a stained pigeon, it could make it more vulnerable to predation. As to the exact species of the victim here, we’re open to suggestions from readers!