Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Merlin

Up in Colorado Anne Price (of the REF) and her female merlin Larkyn have also been busy.

"... a week after almost losing her, my gal did the craziest thing I've ever seen her do in 3.25 seasons of flying her: she went and robbed/stole a starling from a wild female prairie falcon! It was the day after Thanksgiving and I wish I had gotten video of this; the male and female were both flying, the male probably wanting to take the starling as well (I've seen him beg food from her before), and Larkyn, ignoring the 2000 birds in front of her, about 30 feet up on a water tower, headed straight for the prairie, bound to the starling in its talons, hung underneath the falcon, and both of them went down to the ground. Why the prairie gave up the starling is beyond me, and the fact that she didn't come back and kill Larkyn on the ground is pretty amazing as well.

"To make a long story short, I got the starling away from Larkyn, the female prairie then went on to make another kill, and so did Larkyn, legitimately, eventually.

"But not before she took off across an alfalfa field in pursuit of the tiercel prairie, who was in the process of landing with his own kill! Fortunately she changed her mind and banked off before getting too close to him."

She adds:

"For reference (and interesting color change between season #1 and #4) I also attach her first "real", as in intentional, double from near the end of her passage year. The first one took her less than a minute to catch, as I recall, and my guest (not quite a falconer, but close) was feeling cheated."

Here is the team:


Matt Mullenix said...

She must be a very petite woman or else that's a HUGE merlin! :-)

Nice shots!

Steve Bodio said...

Big merlin (;-)-- normal size Anne.