Back-to-back #falcon photos. Yesterday I posted an image of one of this little guy’s bigger cousins. The merlin is a good bit smaller than the prairie falcon but a bit bigger than the American kestrel.
This particular one was hanging out at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado yesterday and was the first of the season I have seen. As the sun was coming over the horizon, it had staked out a spot on a sign, enjoying the warmth of the sun’s rays. It was in no rush to move and lingered just long enough to give me a couple of captures.
Winters find these birds across much of the western United States and down into Mexico. Summers are spent in Wyoming, Montana and Canada. In medieval times, they were a favorite of falconers, particularly noblewomen, that called them “lady hawks.” Catherine the Great and Mary Queen of Scots famously hunted with them.