Sunday, October 17, 2010


I found this male 'Prairie' Merlin (Falco columbarius richardsonii) out in the country yesterday afternoon.  The prairie version of the Merlin is much paler in colouring than the very dark West Coast race (F.c.suckleyi) or the nominate Northern race (F.c.columbarius) which is somewhere between the two in colour.

There's a resident female Merlin in my neighbourhood.  She regularly swoops into my backyard, scaring the bejeezus out of the sparrows, doves, finches.  Sometimes she nabs one. 

Merlins were formerly known as Pigeon Hawks.   In fact, here's the neighbourhood girl chowing down on one of our lovely Eurasian Collared Doves, which is about the same size as a pigeon.  Photo from last Winter sometime.

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