The Travels of Tug 44

Merlin Falcon
( Taiga Subspecies )

The Merlin Falcon is a beautiful but fierce predator. They specialize in hunting small birds and large insects such as dragonflies, which it catches on the wing ... they are extremely fast and maneuverable predators. They will also take mice, lizards and other small critters. This is the Taiga subspecies.   high-res

Merlin Falcons are migratory, they summer in Canada where they breed, and they winter in Florida ... so we mostly see them in Fort Edward as they pass thru. However there are a few nests in town, but they are very rare. This one was in the middle of it's stretching exercises, it's fanning its tail here.   high-res

This Merlin Falcon continues stretching, here we have the tail fan as well as the extended wing.   high-res

And here we have wing-stretches.   high-res

In this photo, the Merlin Falcon pauses its exercises to throw up a hairball. Well, not an actual hairball but something similar. The bird is not able to digest larger bones, so it throws up a pellet regularly, just like owls do.   high-res

The Merlin used its claws to help pull the hairball out and is now giving it a quick look, and then drops it.   high-res

And we're off! The Merlin Falcon is an extremely fast flyer, it keeps flapping most of the time and seldom glides in flight.   high-res

Christmas Day 2017, another Merlin Falcon posed for me. It was a dark dreary foggy day but she took off in a blast of snow so fast that I almost missed her completely.   high-res

The Merlin Falcon, a beautiful, fast and deadly predator.

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