Sunday, December 20, 2015

Visiting Merlin

I found this Merlin last week but had computer problems so could not upload the photos. As Merlins are uncommon winter visitors in Canon City I believe it is the same Merlin as was seen by my friend Cathy near the Abbey the week before and likely the same as was seen by friend Linda on the Riverwalk before that.
I first spotted it perched in large tree on the other side of the Arkansas River from the Canon City Riverwalk where I was walking--see bottom pic for that view.
After watching it stretch and look around a lot for about 5 minutes it flew over to the river and harassed a pair of Mallard Ducks, in fact flushed them though it is way too small to be a real threat to them.
This is a Taiga subspecies of Merlin. Per Birds of North America online, "...breeds from Newfoundland to w. Alaska south into the n. US (Maine and n. Vermont, New Hampshire, and NY; n. Great Lakes states, and w. mountain states)." . SeEtta