Merlin – Launching An Attack

Small yet fierce, the Merlin is a fast and powerful falcon.  I luckily sighted one perched on a single tree snag surrounded by marsh along the wildlife drive at Blackwater NWR a few days ago.

He turned his gaze towards my direction.


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Finding me in my car boring, the Merlin redirected his focus back to the marsh…..


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Merlin back on watch



and then immediately shot off the perch for a dive attack.


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Merlin launching for an attack



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Merlin diving fast towards the marsh



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Merlin diving into the marsh


I waited to see if it reappeared with a catch, but to no avail.

I thought that might be best for me anyways and drove away to look for my next photo opportunity that was hopefully waiting up ahead.  🙂



38 thoughts on “Merlin – Launching An Attack

    • Thank you, Sylvia! 🙂 I do get a few RPRT moments which means I’m out there trying to always be ready and watching for something to happen! hee hee I love it when it does!! 😊

      • I think Merlin (and most male birds) seem to enjoy being the center of attention sometimes 😀
        Of course, this is daydreaming on my part 😉 And if I may also agree with Tanja’s comment too. While I know and appreciate that hunters catching prey is a part of life, I am “glad” I don’t have to always be witness to it. Thank you again, for sharing such a wonderful series ❤

        • Thank you, Takami! I think you’re right! 😉 Yes, not seeing their mealtime is good, it’s too hard. Except how come we (or I) don’t get squeamish when an Osprey or Cormorant or Kingfisher (and others!) catch and eat a fish?! 😲 Hmmmm…… 🙂

          • Yes, I understand exactly what you mean! I feel very guilty of having a double-standard… Many times I realize how I never even considered how it must be from the poor fish’s point of view…🥺😰

  1. You captured a great sequence of the Merlin’s take-off. I, for one, am glad that it didn’t reappear with anything in its talons. I know these things are happening, but I don’t have to watch them!

    • Thank you, Tanja! I’ve seen it a few times, and then, of course, tried to capture the action; but dear me, I really also would prefer not to have the appearance of a catch in the first place. I’m with you, Tanja!

  2. Great diving captures Donna. Like true small raptors we don’t always get to see the prey as if it is small they will eat on the ground. This Merlin shows the traits of a true Falcon in the way it dives on its prey.

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