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Mighty Merlin

merlin squawkFriends, I am editing more images for my book on Hawk Ridge, i needed a different image for a Merlin, so here he is, all edited and ready to print.  He has a  sassy nature and will take on bigger birds than the Kestrel.   I have to fly this morning, so til Tomorrow MJ


Weekly Photo Challenge:Thankful

Friends, I am very Thankful for the birds of Hawk Ridge and Crex Meadows, who keep me busy photographing the wildness.  So back to Hawk Ridge for another Hawk lesson, or in this case, a Falcon lesson.  The portrait of the Merlin below shows an open beak and the notches in the cutting edge of the beak that fit together when the bird is killing his prey.  These interlocking notches are the tomial tooth of the falcons.  Hawks may have the upper notch but do not have the corresponding notch on the lower edge.  The higher magnification image shows this region to dramatize the tomial tooth. til Tomorrow MJ

Merlin – first year

Friends, this tiny hawk is a first year Merlin, but technically he is a falcon due to his pointed wings.  He was captured and banded at Hawk Ridge yesterday, a misty morning turned into a partly cloudy day by 1pm. The hawks are just starting their migration and the smaller hawks come first. This Merlin is about the same size as a sharp-shinned hawk but the first year bird has brown eyes, and the sharp-shinned hawk has yellow eyes.  They both have the vertical striping on the front. Below is an image of the first year sharp-shinned for comparison, stay tuned for second year and mature sharp shinned tomorrow, til Tomorrow MJ

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