This post was inspired by David Heilman, click here to view his blog. In a previous birding post he commented that he was impressed with my birding list, and surprised that a Merlin was included. He asked me if I had a photo. So today, I decided to do a post about the three small falcons of this area that I am acquainted with. I dug back through my archives to find these images.
This Merlin was photographed early one morning only a few blocks from my house. I always have my Canon SLR, with my Canon 500mm lens, in the car with me. We were coming home from breakfast, and my sharp-eyed wife, Ann, spotted it. I wheeled into convenient empty lot nearby. There was no time to set up a tripod, so I hand-held it and took the photo from the car window. Canon EOS 40D, 500mm lens with1.4 tele-converter. Exposure 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, ISO 400.
The Prairie Falcon was also photographed in the same area, only the bird was atop a utility pole. I used the sames set-up again, and again I had to hand-hold the camera in my car window. Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens plus 1.4 teleconverter. Exposure was 1/1000 sec. @ f11, plus 2/3 EV, ISO 400.
The American Kestrel is by far, my favorite of the small falcon type birds. It is so colorful and photogenic. This time the bird was atop a small, dead tree. He had a fresh meal in his mouth, and not wanting to take a chance of him flying off too quickly, I again opted to hand-hold the camera. Canon EOS 7D, Canon 500mm lens with 1.4 tele-converter. Exposure 1/1600 sec. @ f5.6 plus 1/3 EV. ISO 125.
There are other falcons that can be seen occasionally. One is the Peregrine Falcon. I have observed one flying across O. C. Fisher lake a few times. I never had a chance for a photo because of their great speed. The Crested Caracara is another one that I haven’t been close enough to photograph. But some day……… My camera is in my car. 🙂