Immature Merlins of either sex are effectively indistinguishable in the
field from adult females, and adult females from adult males primarily
by the slaty blue color of the males' backs.
I sure can't tell from the angle of your pix which you've got here, but
perhaps somebody better than me could tease it out. (Just from the
odds, it's more likely to be a female/immature.)
Very nice pix of one my very favorite birds!
Julie Waters wrote:
> By the time I got to Allen Brothers Marsh this afternoon, there were no
> warblers to be found. This may have had something to do with the merlin
> (I think-- it's one of the few local raptors I don't see enough to feel
> confident about) I spotted hanging out in a nearby tree.
> Also on my way home today I swung by Berlin Pond for a very quick
> stopover. Saw nothing of interest save for a single Osprey flying.
> Pictures of both Osprey and likely Merlin at:
> If this is, as I suspect, a Merlin, my guess is that it's a juvenile,
> but help on this would be useful. Unlike Kestrels and the various
> accipiters, I've only had a few good looks at a Merlin in my life and
> I've only seen one standing still for long enough to study three times
> before today.
> Also at Allen Bros. Marsh were the usual suspects: house sparrows, green
> heron, great egret, great blue herons, mallards and likely wood ducks.