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Merlin (Black)

Falco columbarius suckleyi

ML63338931


©
Tom Johnson
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eBird Checklist S11761066
Cayuga Co.--90 (Lake Rd to Ledyard Rd)
Cayuga, New York, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 42.7074, -76.6795 Map

Age
Unknown
Sex
Unknown
Behaviors
Breeding
Tags

Comments

Observation details

***MEGA subspecies - probably a first NY record; this very dark Merlin was perched atop a utility pole south of Aurora. I saw it naked eye as we were driving past, and did a quick u-turn because it appeared to be all dark. I took some photos of the bird as it perched and then flew; these revealed the general lack of pale spotting/ barring on the remiges, which are very important to the subspecific identification: http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v089n02/p0325-p0338.pdf). Most Taiga Merlins show extensive pale barring throughout the remiges, a feature notably lacking on this bird. The dark "helmet" and underparts were also very dark, much moreso than typical Taiga birds.

Technical Information

Model
Canon EOS 40D
Lens model
EF400mm f/5.6L USM
f-stop
f/7.1
Focal length
400 mm
Shutter speed
1/1600 sec
ISO
640
Flash
Flash did not fire, auto

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