These little falcons are among my favorite wintertime raptors here in Colorado. This year, however, I have not had much luck spotting them. In fact, just Saturday I was telling my friend that I was annoyed I had not seen one yet this season.
Well, the wildlife photography gods took mercy on me the very next day. I spotted this handsome one up high on a utility pole. While not an ideal perch by any means, I was pleased for the opportunity and it did give me the pleasure of watching it dine on some other, small bird.
Merlins are just a bit larger than their more common cousin the American kestrel. They are similarly ferocious, preferring small birds as their meal of choice and being capable of snagging their prey out of the air.