The Fast & Furious Merlin

Merlins are small, fierce falcons.  They are just slightly larger than the American Kestrel.  I feel fortunate to have sighted this Merlin, who appeared to had already sighted me first.

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Merlins are powerful, fast flyers.  They travel around 30 mph (48 km), but are much faster during a high-speed chase.

Merlins eat mostly small birds.  They typically chase the small bird upwards until it tires, then attack and catch it in midair.

High up on a snag, this Merlin was perched with his prey.

 

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After he gave me a nice smile and profile stance in the next photo……

 

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the Merlin went back to his prey, obviously knowing I was no threat.

 

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Having only photographed a Merlin in flight, it was a pure delight for me to capture this series!

 

35 thoughts on “The Fast & Furious Merlin

  1. Fantastic catch! I’ve yet to see a Merlin, much less catch a great photo like yours! Just so you know, I’m truly enjoying your return to blogging.

    • Thanks, Gunta! I was in one of those right place, right time moments. I cannot believe he did not take flight. I am also enjoying trying to get back to posting. I can’t get out and walk/hike any distances as yet; but I’m eager to and have started carrying my cameras with me again when we go out for a drive. It’s a start! 🙂 And it’s friends like you who inspire me to, thanks so much, my friend!!

  2. Aren’t they gorgeous! What a wonderful sight, and image to make for a photographer of wildlife/birds! I’ve seen a Merlin a few times, but never with prey or have had the luck of catching one in flight.
    Well spotted and timed Donna!

  3. Always have been one of our rarer Raptors in the UK but sadly on our moors they now seem to all but have vanished (friends report the very occasional sightings but I have not seen one for several years now). But Merlin have suffered persecution just like so many of our raptors….. It would appear, and seems to be true, that managing our moorlands for Grouse that are breed for so called Sporting Shoots are to blame. Sad situation

    • I didn’t know much about the Merlin, and read how they were used in sporting shoots, both today and back in ancient times. Doesn’t give them much of a chance…..definitely sad. Thank you for your comments, David!

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