Date: 12/3/18 7:19 pm
From: Sharon Kay <sharonkay.mt...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: Merlin with prey - Arapahoe Co
Too bad they don't stick to just eating starlings.

On Monday, December 3, 2018 at 10:22:10 AM UTC-7, Jared Del Rosso wrote:
>
> Two weekends ago (11/24), while birding Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve
> (Arapahoe), I encountered a Merlin with a fresh catch, a small bird that I
> believe was a Townsend's Solitaire. More accurately, the Merlin encountered
> me, flying into my path, about 20 feet or so ahead of me, and perching
> above me. The Merlin was indifferent to my presence, plucking,
> eviscerating, and eating the bird in plain view. It didn't even leave its
> perch when, many minutes later, I passed underneath. (I waited for the
> Merlin to be long done eating before crossing its path; by the time I left
> it, it had moved on to cleaning whatever it hadn't swallowed from its
> talons and beak.) But two robins, boldly encroaching, got it to go.
>
> For once, I had my camera with me and the light wasn't terrible. So I have
> decent photos of the entire encounter. The eating lasted about 13 minutes,
> but the bird was on its perch for longer than that. I stopped photographing
> after about 20 minutes. A few minutes later, it flew across the preserve
> and out over the High Line Canal.
>
> One photograph included. I'd welcome second opinions on the prey.
>
> [image: DSC_0382 Merlin with Prey.jpg]
>
> It was, for me, a rather remarkable encounter. Once, years ago, I came
> face-to-face with a Merlin at a feeder during a cold St. Paul, Minnesota
> CBC. Usually, though, my views are from much farther below or are briefer
> or are both.
>
>
> - Jared Del Rosso
> Centennial, CO
>

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