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For My Friend Michel

For My Friend Michel
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-09-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-02-20 17:00
Viewed: 3951
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This image is dedicated to Michel (MMM) for all his fantastic bird images.

Falco columbarius

General Description

By Lee Sollenberger

The Merlin is an uncommon circumboreal falcon, breeding across Canada and northern USA, in Iceland and northern Eurasia. Formerly known in North America as the "Pigeon Hawk", it probably is still increasing in numbers, having been a victim of the pesticide DDT. In Alberta, two subspecies occur: the darker Taiga Merlin of the northern forest, and the very pale Richardson's Merlin of the grassland and aspen parkland. Between the two races, it ranges completely across the province in suitable habitat.

In the breeding season, northern birds prefer open forests. In the prairies, it usually nests in wooded valleys. In recent years, Merlins have increasingly taken to nesting in urban areas, mainly in maturing coniferous trees. An estimated 25-50 pairs now breed within the city of Calgary. While most individuals migrate, going as far south as northern South America, a considerable number regularly overwinter.

The Merlin's main food is small birds, mostly caught on the wing in high speed pursuit. In migration, this includes shorebirds. It also takes some small rodents and large insects. Wintering birds survive mainly on the introduced House Sparrow and visiting Bohemian Waxwings.

This small falcon does not construct its own nest, preferentially using old ones made by a crow, magpie or other large species in the northern woods such as a Sharp-shinned Hawk. It occasionally uses a cliff ledge, open tree cavity or when no other site is available, will nest on the ground. The four to six eggs are incubated mainly by the female for 28-32 days. She broods and feeds the young while the male does all the hunting. They fledge at 25-30 days but remain near the nest, becoming fully independent at about six weeks of age.
from Weaselhead.org

Luis52, Hormon_Manyer, marianas, siggi, matatur, Argus, nagraj, CeltickRanger, goatman04, uleko, lovenature, achimmircea, nasokoun, eng55, jaycee, Merlin, mala-zaba, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Merlin: Thank youAdanac 2 02-22 00:57
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-02-20 18:22]

Hola Rick.
Really like this Falcon. They are always lookin for something to hunt and eat.
I know Michel will be happy for this lovely present You give to him.
Nice note. Interesting to read and a lot to learn.
Saludos. Please say Hi to Lucy for me.

Hi Rick,
Absolutely beautiful falcon shot, crystal clear sharpness and great details on the bird. Background's nicely blurred, not busy at all, although its colorization's quite similar to that of the falcon, and a bit pale to my taste - a very little dose of contrast should do, by my opinion. Otherwise, as mentioned, a fantastic capture, and of course a nice dedication to Michel.
Tfs, have a nice Sunday, László

Hi Rick
Michel can be proud with this lovely dedication!
Great details and colors of this very sharp capture is amazing.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-02-20 22:51]

Hello Rick
Wonderful and perfect capture of this little falcon. A top quality image. All is perfect!
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-02-20 23:49]

Hello Rick,
superb shot of this prairie Falcon with the excellent luminosity of the image,
excellent sharpness and details and that proud pose of the Kestrel,
lovelly catch-light at the eye, excellent POV .
Best regards Siggi

Hi Rick,
this one is so beautiful and you captured him with excellent sharpness and beautiful light.
The colours are so soft and dreamy.
I love the short beak, that's realy a little cute.
Thanks and have a wonderful day
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Rick,

This is great. I really like birds of prey and this one has been photographed very well. The details are excellent and so are some of the colours. I like the pose showing off his wing plumage and it has been well composed. Good out of focus background as well.
Great capture and TFS


Such a handsome Falcon on a wooden post, with an incredible OOF backdrop in horizontal strata Rick, I really loved this fine image my friend, thank you indeed!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-02-21 3:31]

Hello Rick,
Impressive photo of this falcon. Didn't have seen much photos of this species. Very beautiful colours in the photo and beautiful markings in the feathers. Excellent sharpness and details. Wonderful OOF BG, fantastic composition and a very nice pose.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-02-21 4:37]

Hello Rick,
I must say I prefer to see birds, especially raptors in their entireity in an image and this capture of a Prairie Falcon is what I like to see. The technical qualities are excellent and the lighting superb with a nice neutral BG helping to show it up.
Thanks for sharing this beauty and have a good Sunday.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-02-21 5:13]

Very fine portrait, beautiful lighting and colors. tfs.

hello Rick

excellent photo of the Prairie Falcon shot with fine POV
and framing, fine focus excellent sharpness and details,
beautiful catch-light and eye-contact, beautiful dedication to Michel,



Hello Rick,

A great close-up of this Falcon with beautiful coloration, sharpness & pose. Well taken & presented. TFS & all the best!


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-02-21 8:46]

Hello Rick,
What a beautiful capture of this Falcon in a lovely pose! Wonderful light and colours and great focus on that sharp eye! A very pleasant background too and well composed.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi Rick
I think you work magic with your zoom lens. The DOF always seems to work out perfectly. Your close view of Prairie Falcon brings out his plumage so nicely. I also like the way he has his head facing toward you enough to see his impressive beak. Great notes!
TFS Janice

Hello Rick,
This is a first class picture of this Falcon. Excellent sharpness and details, natural colors, wonderful BG and good composition. Well done!

hello my friend Rick,
top quality shot, beautiful pose and scene!
"keep photographing!" TFS

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-02-21 12:59]

Hi Rick,
Very beautiful capture.I liked POV,harmonious colors,
simple BG,eye contact and composition are wonderful.
Thanks for posting..

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-02-21 15:15]

Hi Rick,

A fantastic capture of this Prairie Falcon. The pose is wonderful. The colors and details of his face and feathers are beautiful and excellent. He has a very attractive face with a wonderful eye. Needless to say I have never seen him in real life but would love to. The background and composition are marvelous. A fine dedication to our friend Michel.


This is a lovely image, but it's a Prairie or Richardson's Merlin Falco columbarius richardsonii, rather than F. mexicanus. It can be identified by its delicate build (particularly the very slender toes and small bill), plumage and tail-primaries ratio. In all plumages the prairie falcon has more bars on the tail (but less distinct than the merlin) and a bolder malar stripe below the eye. Lighting, composition and background are all beautiful.
Regards, Nigel.

Hi Rick

Great shot of this beautiful merlin. Stunning pose and composition. Excellent sharpness and details. Great OOF background.


Hello Rick,
It's been long since I have not spent on TN. You took a wonderful photograph. The Merlin is well detailed in a beautiful light and you have well composed.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-02-22 10:02]

Hi Rick
So Sorry I had miss that one I was away on the weekend.Thank you first of all for the dedication and kind words.That is a very nice capture excellent POV and lovely natural colors.Tack sharp image with great detail.I love the look form is eye and I also liek the cath light in the eye.
TFS Michel

great portrait, nice composition, TFS Ori

Very impressive capture of a magnificent beauty MF Rick.
This really speaks for itself, so natural and flawless.
The colours and sharpness are wonderful too. Fine dedication to our mutual friend Michel also.
TFS and have a nice day MF!


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