A few New Mexico birds: Falconiformes

 

This order includes falcons; hawks are in a separate order. Hover over a picture to control the images.


Falconidae: Merlin (Falco columbarius)

In one photo, this female turned her head away but exposed a bit of her underside. I reduced the contrast in that photo so you can see that part of the plumage more clearly. Merlins catch sparrow-sized birds (and dragonflies) on the wing, and you can see this female's breakfast gripped in one foot.

 

Falconidae: American Kestrel or Sparrow Hawk (Falco sparverius)