OCTOBER 2005

Photographer: Will Ruddock

Merlin Mayhem

On Lake Temagami it is common to catch sight of small merlin falcons chasing larger crows and ravens during nesting period, shrieking ki-ki-ki-ki-ki. These underestimated raptors fly fast in a zigzagging, swooping pattern hunting small birds, often snatching them in mid-air. What it lacks in size it makes up for in aggressiveness. 

Ruddock caught this juvenile on the Southwest Arm of Lake Temagami. "The rest of the birds were certainly mindful of the falcons. They spent the summer terrorizing the area, screaming out across open areas whenever something tried to cross. It kept the crows away, but the racket was almost as bad at times...particularly around six a.m."

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