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

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




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