Monday, January 31, 2005

The Merlin just after eating a small bird


At 3:53 PM, Blogger J. Harry Krueger said...

I would agree that this is a "Taiga" Merlin or Falco columbarius columbarius...most probably a male. There are a few things to look at in this photo that seems to lead to that conclusion:
1. F. c. suckleyi would show much more pronounced (dense) underpart streaking, especially extending down thorough the vent area, whereas in F. c. richardsonii the streaking is much lighter and more diffuse, blending into an almost white vent area.
2. C. c. columbariuis shows perhaps the most distinct mustachial streak of the three subspecies (suckleyi blends into the dark of the side of the head and richardsonii is almost absent).
3. A very slight supercilium is visiable, whereas in suckleyi it is absent amd is much more pronounced in richardsonii.
4. In enhancing the photo, the head and upperparts seem to be dark gray, indicating a male.


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