Thursday, November 10, 2016


Yesterday, 9 November 2016, John Holden and I photographed a Merlin near the 180th Street Marsh in nearby Dakota County. John was with me when I last captured a Merlin image in Rice County on 27 November 2012. Compare the two birds in this post. The first is yesterday’s falcon, the bottom is the Rice County bird.

When I wrote about the Rice County Merlin, I explained that three races of Merlin are described. I hesitantly concluded that our bird was a taiga race due to its overall dark coloration, creamy eye-stripe, and buffy breast. Our more recent individual seems clearly to be a Prairie Merlin. Note the very pale sides of the face, the white stripe above the eye, and the non-buffy, white breast markings.

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