Ornithologi

A studio for bird study

Tag: columbarius

A Full Bodied, Perched Merlin

by Bryce W. Robinson

Merlin- Falco columbarius. 11×14″ colored pencil on bristol

I felt the urge to try putting together a full body Merlin today. I got crazy and made an attempt at making this a really dark looking bird. I’ve never seen a Pacific or “Black” Merlin, so I don’t know how close I came.

I’m going to start illustrating the raptors as they appear in the air. I have always wanted to get into painting raptors in flight, but it has always been an intimidating task. It takes an almost obsessive compulsive attention to detail. I’m not sure if I have what it takes, but I plan to try.

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Merlin- Falco columbarius

by Bryce W. Robinson

Merlin- Falco columbarius. 11x15" watercolor on paper

The Merlin is an extremely interesting falcon. Three distinct subspecies split the Merlin; the Taiga, the Black or Pacific, and  the Prairie. Each subspecies exhibits a particular plumage type, a fact that undoubtedly adds to my obsession with the bird. Most commonly seen is the Taiga. The males are a beautiful slate blue, with orange hues on the breast. The female is a paler version of the male, with brown tones replacing the blue, and lacking the orange hue. I have had many encounters with the Taiga this winter, and I am sure there will be more before the seasons end. I have also had a few opportunities this year to see the Prairie Merlin. The Prairie is a very pale version of the Taiga, easily distinguishable. The final subspecies is the Black Merlin. True to its name, the Black is a dark Merlin. Captivating for the onlooker I am sure, but alas, I have never personally seen a Black Merlin. I am sure that with diligent effort that fact will change. For whatever reason the Merlin is a favorite of mine, and I find every encounter a blessing. I look forward to meeting the bird time and time again, photographing, watching, and painting the bird thousands of times over.