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Red headed Merlin

Red headed Merlin
Photo Information
Copyright: Arjun Haarith (Arjun) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D50, Sigma 70-300 mm f/4.0-5.6 APO DG
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Falcons - III chapter [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-28 10:08
Viewed: 4219
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This bird is called as Red headed Merlin or also called as Red necked falcon.

The Red-necked Falcon or Red-headed Merlin (Falco chicquera) is a bird of prey in the falcon family. This bird is a widespread resident in India and adjacent regions as well as sub-Saharan Africa. It is sometimes called Turumti locally.

The Red-necked Falcon is a medium-sized, long-winged species with a bright rufous crown and nape. It is on average 30-36 cm in length with a wingspan of 85 cm. The sexes are similar except in size: males are smaller as females as is usual in falcons. Young birds are buff below with less extensive barring and duller upper plumage.

The adult of the African subspecies Falco chicquera ruficollis has a white face apart from black moustachial stripes. The upperparts are pale grey, with black primary wing feathers and tail tip. The underparts are white with dark barring on the underwings, lower breast, belly and undertail. There is a buff foreneck band. The legs and eyering are yellow. The voice of this species is a shrill kek-kek-kek.

West African males are known to weigh between 139 and 178 grams, while females are found between 190 and 305 grams. The particularly large African birds from south of the Zambezi River are often separated as subspecies Falco chicquera horsbrughi, but the size variation may be clinal and the latter subspecies not valid.

The Asian nominate subspecies Falco chicquera chicquera has rufous moustachial stripes, lacks the buff breast band, and is less extensively barred than the African subspecies.

The Red-necked Falcon is of unclear relationships. While it is sometimes allied with the Merlin or the African Hobby, this is most probably not correct. It might actually be distantly related to the Peregrine Falcon but much more study is needed to resolve this problem. In any case, the African and Indian forms are very distinct and have probably been separated for a long time; they might be considered distinct species.[1]

The Red-necked Falcon is found in semi-desert, savannah and other dry open country with some trees, but also riverine forest. It often perches hidden in the crown of a Borassus palm (Borassus aethiopium), and chases birds, bats and large insects with a fast dashing flight. It is most active at dawn and dusk, hunting below the tree canopy. It often hunts in pairs, sometimes utilizing a technique in which one of the pair flies low and flushes up small birds while the other follows higher up and seizes the prey as it rises from cover.

This falcon reuses the old tree nests of corvids, or lays its 3-5 eggs in the debris in the crown of a palm tree.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Falconiformes

Family: Falconidae

Genus: Falco

Species: F. chicquera

Binomial name
Falco chicquera

Shot this at the outskirts of Bangalore city.The lighting was not favourable that day.
Hope you ppl liked it.

Thank you

Argus, Hussain58, nglen, pekkavalo1, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

wow a lovely artistically presented merlin with a perfect pose. i have seen a kite and a falcon in the neighborhood this year. but never a merlin.tfs

Well done, Arjun.
Well composed. It is a good moment/posture.
The Red headed Merlin is nicely looking into the image space to the right.
Well done

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-07-28 12:36]

Hello Arjun,
A fine capture of the Red-headed Merlin with great sharpness. Excellent pose, POV and composition too, making this a superb portrait of the species.
TFS this beauty,

A classic shot indeed, worthy of a fine future book on birds of prey of Indian Sub-continent...thanks for sharing.....warmest regards/Abid

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-28 12:58]

Hi Arjun . This is a very fine picture of the Merlin. Very fine detail and natural colours. I like the way you have presented this with the plain BG . Well cropped giving romm on the right of the picture. all with intersting notes.
well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • GaryT Gold Star Critiquer [C: 102 W: 7 N: 236] (160)
  • [2008-07-28 16:05]

Yes, good color and composition. Gary

Hi Arjun,

Very nice compo,I felt sharpness is little soft on the body, you could improve it. TFS.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-07-29 1:16]

Hello Arjun, Fantastic eye catch and great focus. Good sharpness and nice composition. Well done. Ganesh

Hi Arjun,
Excellent capture of this Red headed Merlin with good pose and composition, very sharp details and bright natural colours.

Very nice capture of this turumti, I liked esp. the soft colors. Ümit

Hello , little overexposured but good comp. and sharpness , TFS .

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-30 9:29]

Hi Arjun.
Very elegant model and nice shot. I am impressed with delicateness of lights and colours, crisp sharpness of the charming bird, nice turning of its head and pose at whole and great exposure and composition. Bravo. Well done.

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