Friday, September 12, 2008

A Merlin and Blue Jays

This bird used to be called a Pigeon Hawk, and the name is still around and used by a few, but this Blue Jay sized bird is not a hawk at all but a falcon. Yesterday morning, perched high, on top of an old dead tree I had spied a Merlin.

The intent of my walk had been to start checking on Snapping Turtle nesting sites where I had seen eggs being laid in mid- June. Usually taking about a 90 day period to hatch, it is just possible that if my timing is right I might see a few young hatchlings emerging from their nest. However I was detracted from my quest by a noisy racket along the tree line of a stand of old Pines fronting on the meadow.
I immediately saw the Merlin and then saw that a few Blue Jays were harassing it. The Merlin looked a bit wary and I could see a Blue Jay approach -ing it from the left. The Jay then swooped in front of it and circled around, only to regroup with the others and continue to annoy the Merlin. It didn't take long for the Merlin to decide to leave its perch and it flew off with the Blue Jays in pursuit.

16 comments:

Mary said...

I've never seen on of these before! great shots! I love the one with the bluejay and the merlin.

kjpweb said...

That is way cool! Not only getting a Merlin - but together with the Bluejay action! Bravo!
Cheers, Klaus

dolittle's daughter said...

Love the picture of the blue jay and the merlin ... the blue jay looks like he has noticed you, the bird paparazzi, and has an expression like he was caught in the act.

Nick S said...

I'm glad I found your blog. NB is somewhere I'd love to go birding one day. I'm in Saskatchewan. Bravo ! :-)

bobbie said...

Great pictures of a marvelous bird. Wonderful that you got the two birds in one shot!

Becky and Gary said...

I've never seen a Merlin. What a good capture. Around here it's the Crows that get
harassed by the Grackles. I'd rather be watching a Merlin.

April said...

Beautiful pictures of the Merlin! We had a nesting pair here this summer that I could observe. They are formidable hunters and catch their prey in midair. I was surprised that the Blue Jays went after it - WOW! that is amazing.

Deborah godin said...

Great posts! Some of the best natue interactions one can observe involve Jays. They do get their noses/beaks into everybody elses's "bidness." When I lived out west, magpies give jays a helping hand. I once saw a poor cat slinking along between tree trunks, trying to get to some bushes for cover, screaming jays ahead of him and scolding magpies following. Must have been the longest 25 seconds of the cat's life.

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

Ann...you get some fantastic birding oppotunities... Snapping turtles. In 20 years they become a real problem for waterfowl...

scienceguy288 said...

What great shots of these amazing animals in action.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Great flight and actions shots, like em, nice one.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Awesome shots, especially the ones of it in flight. Cool! :-)

SandyCarlson said...

I love this. The drama here is wonderful.

troutbirder said...

Awesome. I saw my first merlins this summer but not nearly this close.

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