ID’ing the Merlin

merlin-020517n-copy

ID’ing the Merlin.
 
The desire of many birders, like myself, is to see lots of birds and correctly identifying them when you do. Merlins are not very common birds here in the south so identifying it was a challenge. I talk often about the great gift my wife Evelyn gave me years ago, the continuing education courses from Cornell University on Ornithology. Seeing a bird and noticing parts of it is key to the ID, but if the bird is sitting still, you can’t see wing shape and size. Often you would turn to the call of the bird, but when it isn’t calling, you have to look at little things. The front of the bird was very similar to either a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp shinned Hawk, but the tail was too short. When I was able to see the face and see some of the marks I started thinking Prairie Falcon, but when I saw the back, I knew it was something else. The other key to separate it from the hawks was the eyes, they were black. I did a quick check on the Cornell website All About Birds and was able to confirm the sighting. Bird Geeks like me get excited when we see an uncommon bird like this, getting nice tight shots (even if there is some cropping of the image involved) is a memory I will keep forever.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Canon 7Dii, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 400, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal Head, Think Tank Photo Airport Commuter backpack, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronImageMasters, #SiruiPro, #SiruiUSA, #thinktankphoto, #MindShiftGear
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4 Responses to “ID’ing the Merlin”

  1. Awesome shot. It really is gratifying when you get that sharp, tight shot of a new species! Nice going.

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