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ruthcatrin

Merlin vs Kestrel vs what?

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One of the smaller birds of prey has taken to hunting birds in my yard.  I haven't managed to catch a picture of it yet, but got a better look at it today.  It's not significantly larger than a Robin, has brown streaking on the belly/chest, and has distinct white banding on the tail.  The back is dark, though I'm not sure dark brown vs dark blue.  I'm leaning towards Merlin, I'm given to understand that Kestrels don't generally hunt birds, and the white barred tail doesn't match Kestrels.  Is there something else I should be looking at?  I'm in Upstate NY.

Edited by ruthcatrin

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Hm, maybe, but I don't think the light banding on the tail matches.  Sharpies, to me, always look like a lighter tail with dark banding (the darker lines are narrower than the light).  While on this bird the white banding was narrower than the dark.  I got a good look at the flared tail from the back of the bird this morning.  But that gives me something else to look for next time I see it.

Edited by ruthcatrin

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I haven't seen it perched yet.  Just swooping through trying to snatch lunch.  I think the wings were pointy. But it moves pretty darn fast!

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