Lulu93

What kind of Hawk

23 posts in this topic

What??? I have to look it up now and read about them! Also saw Redtails and couple others.

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He was dark grayish color on the back, front was Mottled.

couple more pics? Sorry.

059-Copycr_zps0d71a5b1.jpg

069-Copycr_zps6c0a572a.jpg

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Thanks! This field is awesome. One man reported 33 different species within a 4 hr span. Can't wait til it warms up to go hang out for a while!

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Still a Merlin :)

What population would you call this, BillyPilgrrim?

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Looks good for a Taiga bird (F. columbarius columbarius)

Edit: I don't have Wheeler to check, but the bird doesn't look light enough for a Prairie, imo. I believe columbarius should be the expected subspecies in the east, even during winter.

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Agreed. We get an occasional Prairie Merlin here in NE Illinois, but until we photographed one at the hawkwatch, no one believed it!

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Why wouldn't people believe it....that;s just human nature for birders to be skeptical if they didn't see it. I am under the belief that people wouldn't claim it if they didn't see it and give the benefit of the doubt first, especially at a hawk watching site when many good watchers are normally there.

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The question, Derek, was whether the variation in columbarius was properly accounted for. I don't know if you've spent much time watching Merlin at a hawkwatch (there aren't too many places where you can, actually) but the fact is, you don't have much time to watch any particular Merlin. Since they're small you don't see them a long ways out, they tend to fly low, so you pick them up even that much later, and they only have one gear -- which is faster than anything else but a Peregrine. (Bill Cowhert used to say that Merlin shouldn't be 2-syllable word, since you don't have time to get both syllables out :P ). With that in mind, distinguishing richardsonii from pale columbarius isn't as easy as it seems it should be.

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Looks good for a Taiga bird (F. columbarius columbarius)

Edit: I don't have Wheeler to check, but the bird doesn't look light enough for a Prairie, imo. I believe columbarius should be the expected subspecies in the east, even during winter.

That's what I thought too. I saw my first merlin yesterday at Peter's Canyon. I wasn't looking for it (had given up in the other location and didn't expect to see it there). I ask because the merlin I saw appears very much like this one, Taiga.

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That's what I thought too. I saw my first merlin yesterday at Peter's Canyon. I wasn't looking for it (had given up in the other location and didn't expect to see it there). I ask because the merlin I saw appears very much like this one, Taiga.

A west coast birder might be able to speak to this better, but ebird shows Taiga as the most frequently reported species in SoCal during the winter. The Black subspecies is usually resident further north and Prairies seem to be considerably less common.

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A west coast birder might be able to speak to this better, but ebird shows Taiga as the most frequently reported species in SoCal during the winter. The Black subspecies is usually resident further north and Prairies seem to be considerably less common.

I just checked, and the areas around me, which is where I found the merlin, do show that.

I have a question: any idea of the evolutionary advantage to a female being larger than a male? I read this (Wheeler/Clark) is the case in merlins, and I am just curious why.

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I just checked, and the areas around me, which is where I found the merlin, do show that.

I have a question: any idea of the evolutionary advantage to a female being larger than a male? I read this (Wheeler/Clark) is the case in merlins, and I am just curious why.

Pretty good summary:http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Size_and_Sex.html

(Spoiler Alert: No one is sure :) )

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Pretty good summary:http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Size_and_Sex.html

(Spoiler Alert: No one is sure :) )

"Vultures, whose prey are least agile of all . . . "

Ha Ha Ha ! I'll bet the author had fun writing that. :)

Thanks for posting that! Most interesting. Also, I was at Cornell when Tom Cade was just pioneering his peregrine stuff. Unfortunately I wasn't paying much attention to birds at the time (and Sapsucker Woods was right there!) but it brought back fond memories nonetheless.

Also had me free-associating to some of the trouble breeders of big psitticines have setting up pairs; in some of those species, the males really can be 'abusive'--if not murderous.

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Also had me free-associating to some of the trouble breeders of big psitticines have setting up pairs; in some of those species, the males really can be 'abusive'--if not murderous.

I'll second that!

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