Late Friday morning, we went for a brief starling hunt at a local feedlot. These starlings are hunted hard by the resident raptors—not just merlins, but also prairie falcons, Cooper's hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks—so they're wary, and we didn't get the high ringing flights generally preferred by merlin enthusiasts. Still, we did see a couple of good flights.
Diane Moller and her black merlin. [All these shots are by Jess.]
Jeremy Bradshaw and his Richardson's merlin.
Closing with a flock of starlings, at just above cow level.
Following the flight.