[Click to enlarge photos.]
Out doing some car birding this Christmas morning, I spotted this raptor perched near the junction of Bayshore Road and Stevens Street in Cape May. When you see a small raptor, there's a tendency to default to Sharp-shinned Hawk, but then I was like, but they don't do that. Do that meaning, perch in the open on an exposed perch. Plus the wings were too long in relation to the tail; remember that Sharp-shinned Hawks are accipiters, which have shortish wings and long tails. On a perched bird, that translates into wings who's tips don't come close to the tip of the tail. Merlins on the other hand are Falcons, and have long wings the tips of which come close to the tip of the tail.
Anyhow, this bird had to be one of the small Falcons, and the back color was wrong for kestrel, so Merlin it is. I got the distinct impression it had no intention of obeying the speed limit sign.
Merry Christmas everyone!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad