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Hank Vander Velde | all galleries >> Hawks & Falcons > 20080115 355 Merlin 1 SERIES.jpg
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20080115 355 Merlin 1 SERIES.jpg
15-JAN-2008 Hank v/d Velde

20080115 355 Merlin 1 SERIES.jpg

Shirley's Bay, Ottawa

Four consecutive images showing the Merlin preparing for the attack. First: The Merlin from its perch in a thicket, spots its prey, one of several Mourning Doves. (Shot 1 of 4)

Keeping its eye on the dove, the Merlin starts to turn towards its prey. (Shot 2 of 4)

Preparing for take-off, at all time keeping its eye on the intended victim. (Shot 3 of 4)

Up and away, never taking its eye off the selected dove.

Note: I did not see the Merlin catch the dove. It appears that it selects one dove out of a group and continues to harass it until the dove tires. Initially, the dove appears to be able to outfly the Merlin. In the end, the Merlin's persistance often pays off. It may take numerous chases. During its chase, the Merlin seems to totally concentrate on the job at hand and pays very little heed to close-by photographers.

Nikon D200 ,Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR
1/800s f/6.3 at 500.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Lieve Snellings18-Oct-2010 01:33
fantastic Hank !
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