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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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