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Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved.

This morning as I was pulling up to my house I noticed in the tree across the street a Merlin  Hawk perched on a branch. I was so excited I couldn’t get in the driveway, parked ,and out of the car fast enough. I raced into the house, grabbed my long lens then raced back outside all the while hoping he was still there.

He was! I think it’s a juvenile. Well, it looks young to me.

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Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I got  several shots of him perched then quick as a wink he took flight. He was so fast I could barely keep up with him panning. There is more motion blur than I would have liked, but his eye is pretty sharp. I definitely need more practice panning. Shooting in Continuous High I only got 4 frames of him in flight before he was gone; this one, and one other have motion blur the other two I only caught his tail in the frames.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

It’s the first time in the 25 years I’ve lived here I’ve ever seen a falcon. Several weeks ago I saw a hawk for the first time on my street. This winter food must be in short supply in the country. I can’t imagine anything else bringing them into the suburbs. I hope he comes back and I am around to photograph him.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300mm VR@ 300mm| f8| 1/1000 sec| ISO 640| Manual Mode| Hand-held

Update: A reader Tj of TjFivephotography emails, ” It looks more like a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Cooper’s Hawk b/c this one doesn’t have the markings under the eyes like falcons do.”

He sent a cool link showing photos of both birds. I’m leaning toward this one being a Coopers Hawk. What do you all think?

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/accipiterIDtable.htm

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