Male Merlin

The Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a small species of falcon. The male Merlin has a blue-grey back, ranging from almost black to silver-grey in different subspecies. Its underparts are buff- to orange-tinted and more or less heavily streaked with black to reddish brown. The tail tip is black with a narrow white band at the very end. The eye and beak are dark, the latter with a yellow cere. The feet are also yellow, with black claws. Merlins inhabit fairly open country, such as willow or birch scrub and open moorland. They can be found from sea level to the treeline.

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Captive Male Merlin @ Dalhousie Castle # 6049

The Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a small species of falcon. The male Merlin has a blue-grey back, ranging from almost black to silver-grey in different subspecies. Its underparts are buff- to orange-tinted and more or less heavily streaked with black to reddish brown. This shot was taken while attending a photography workshop at Dalhousie Castle Edinburgh with Ron McCombe.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 1009

Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they actually capture most prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 0859

Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they actually capture most prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds. Breeding pairs will frequently hunt cooperatively, with one bird flushing the prey toward its mate.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 1072

Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they actually capture most prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds. Breeding pairs will frequently hunt cooperatively, with one bird flushing the prey toward its mate.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 0947

Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they actually capture most prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin & Prey # 0655

Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they actually capture most prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin & Prey # 0701

Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, using trees and large shrubs to take prey by surprise. But they actually capture most prey in the air, and will "tail-chase" startled birds. Throughout its native range, the Merlin is one of the most able aerial predators of small to mid-sized birds. Breeding pairs will frequently hunt cooperatively, with one bird flushing the prey toward its mate.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 0603

HABITAT: Merlins inhabit boreal forests, coastal forests, prairies, and shrub-steppes of North America and Eurasia from sea-level to tree line. Small to medium birds are the staple foods for Merlins, but they will also hunt bats, insects, and small rodents. This falcon usually catches prey in the air after a swoop from a perch or while flying low over the ground. The prey is sometimes captured after a speedy pursuit. Uneaten prey may be hidden for later consumption.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 0538

The male Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a small species of falcon with a blue-grey back, ranging from almost black to silver-grey in different subspecies. Its underparts are buff- to orange-tinted and more or less heavily streaked with black to reddish brown. The female and immature are brownish-grey to dark brown above, and whitish buff spotted with brown below. Besides a weak whitish supercilium and the faint dark malar stripe—which are barely recognizable in both the palest and the darkest birds—the face of the Merlin is less strongly patterned than in most other falcons.
© Allan Bell

Male Merlin # 0878

The male Merlin (Falco Columbarius) has a blue-grey back, ranging from almost black to silver-grey in different subspecies. Its underparts are buff- to orange-tinted and more or less heavily streaked with black to reddish brown. The female and immature are brownish-grey to dark brown above, and whitish buff spotted with brown below. Besides a weak whitish supercilium and the faint dark malar stripe—which are barely recognizable in both the palest and the darkest birds—the face of the Merlin is less strongly patterned than in most other falcons. Nestlings are covered in pale buff down feathers, shading to whitish on the belly.
© Allan Bell

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