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An in-flight snack

A Merlin's inflight meal - © Christopher Martin-5597

I found this Merlin feasting from a fence top perch near High River last weekend.  I watched him for a couple of minutes before a hauling truck passed by.  At that point, the noise and proximity disturbed this fellow and he took flight.  He shot upwards with a couple of fast wing beats and then surprised me with a hovering break to grab another bite.  It was likely a readjustment of the load but it was neat to watch.

A Merlin's dinner - © Christopher Martin-5572

A Merlin's inflight meal - © Christopher Martin-5595

With the prey in the right place, he then banked away over the prairie and settled in the grass a couple hundred metres away to finish his meal.

A Merlin's inflight meal - © Christopher Martin-5610-3

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180 responses

  1. Exquisite catch, man! Brilliant portrait!

    October 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

  2. stunning! You do great work and tell an amazing story with photos

    November 20, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    • Thank you Kyle. Those are both very nice comments. Have a great day!

      November 21, 2015 at 9:16 am

  3. AH!!!! Look at the birdie!!! These are absolutely awesome photos! You captured him phasing from, “Do I photograph you while you eat?” to, “Okay, get my good side.” These are amazing!

    November 20, 2015 at 4:25 am

    • Hi Leona – thank you so much. It was a kind bird to provide the great angles for me!

      November 21, 2015 at 9:17 am

  4. anisha81

    Nice and cool pict…good job..

    November 20, 2015 at 2:06 am

  5. I guessed you must have waited patiently to capture these wonderful and beautiful shots. The timing was perfect.

    November 19, 2015 at 6:45 am

  6. hi guys please look my new blog
    dewadechrisshop.wordpress.com
    thanks

    November 17, 2015 at 11:25 pm

  7. Fantastic shots ~ crisp and simply beautiful.

    November 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    • Thank you Dalo. I truly appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog and to comment. Have a great week!

      November 18, 2015 at 1:12 am

      • You too Christopher ~ your photos are an inspiration – always fun to see the world/wildife through your lens.

        November 19, 2015 at 8:30 pm

  8. Beautiful! Great photos!

    November 17, 2015 at 7:21 pm

  9. Beautifully captured! Keep posting!

    November 17, 2015 at 5:00 am

  10. Very cool photos. Beautiful bird.

    November 12, 2015 at 8:15 pm

  11. Wow, just found your post. Beautiful photos – lovely start to my day!

    November 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm

  12. Quilt Writer

    Beautiful!

    November 9, 2015 at 6:54 am

  13. loved them

    November 9, 2015 at 5:53 am

  14. Excellent photos

    November 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

  15. Stunning photos! Keep posting! 🙂

    November 8, 2015 at 10:48 am

  16. Thank you for sharing your amazing photos! I’m in awe.

    November 7, 2015 at 5:00 am

  17. Pingback: NATURE – An in-flight snack | World Health Innovation Summit

  18. Amazing images!!! Capturing the Merlin in flight is hard enough, but you were definitely in the right place at the right time. Great job

    November 5, 2015 at 6:36 am

  19. Beautiful!

    November 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm

  20. Awesome pictures!

    November 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

  21. Love raptors and greatly admire your ability to photograph one on the wing. I’ve failed miserably when trying to locate and photograph a single bird moving through all that sky. Great shots!

    November 1, 2015 at 10:13 am

  22. Absolutely, positively, FANTASTIC!!!! What great captures!!!

    November 1, 2015 at 9:24 am

  23. cdenisegish

    Reblogged this on Enter the monarchy of marvelous hope.

    October 31, 2015 at 8:04 pm

  24. Perfect shoots!!! Amazing!

    October 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm

  25. Pingback: An in-flight snack | Simple Things

  26. Beautiful pictures.

    October 30, 2015 at 10:39 am

  27. Stunning!!

    October 29, 2015 at 7:26 pm

  28. Wonderful crisp shots

    October 29, 2015 at 5:40 pm

  29. Nice read
    Please check out my work https://danixkamau.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/wacuka/

    October 29, 2015 at 5:59 am

  30. narinderkari

    Amazing caption

    October 28, 2015 at 11:46 pm

  31. What great shots! I love how he looked right at you in that one on the post.

    October 28, 2015 at 11:08 pm

  32. Those are some great pictures. I can’t wait until I’m fast enough with adjusting shutter speed, ISO etc. to get some nice wildlife shots like that 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    October 28, 2015 at 12:01 pm

  33. Chris(if you don’t mind me calling you that ) thanks for like my reply . I had a look at some of your other pictures and they are amazing you are very talented

    October 28, 2015 at 3:10 am

    • Hello CB123,
      Thank you for spending some time looking at my photos. I’m glad you enjoyed them. I appreciate you taking the time to look and to share your comments.
      Warmest regards,
      Chris

      October 28, 2015 at 3:50 am

  34. Awesome photos!

    October 27, 2015 at 7:14 pm

  35. That is amazing picture and it is an amazing creature

    October 27, 2015 at 3:18 pm

  36. gorgeous!!!

    October 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm

  37. Amazing!

    October 27, 2015 at 12:44 pm

  38. Reblogged this on sosiologi hendra yap211wordpress.com and commented:
    sportifitas membutukan energi

    October 27, 2015 at 11:38 am

  39. Stunning!

    October 27, 2015 at 5:10 am

  40. Superb photos. I’ve seen a fishing eagle take bite of sushi while flying.

    October 26, 2015 at 10:10 pm

  41. Wow I loved this way cool

    October 26, 2015 at 7:37 pm

  42. Pingback: An in-flight snack | dylanmanleyblog

  43. Amazing!

    October 26, 2015 at 6:13 pm

  44. Everyone please follow my new blog , I am very new & could use all the support !!!

    October 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm

  45. Amazing pictures

    October 25, 2015 at 7:39 pm

  46. Wow that is pretty cool!

    October 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

  47. Terrific photos!

    October 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm

  48. Great pics.

    October 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm

  49. What can I say? Fantastic!

    October 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

  50. Beautiful! And awesome shots!

    October 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  51. Some wonderful pics! Cheers for sharing…

    October 25, 2015 at 9:49 am

  52. Cool

    October 25, 2015 at 6:06 am

  53. HEY THATS A EPIC SHOT PLEASE VISIT PHOTOGRAPHY MADE SIMPLE FOR AMATURES GUYS TIPS AND ADVICE KNOW HOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW(MABYE NOT EVERY THING BECAUSE I HAVE JUST STARTED OUT)
    NOT ON PHOTOGRAPHY

    October 25, 2015 at 5:11 am

  54. Fantastic photos!

    October 25, 2015 at 3:43 am

  55. Great shots! So at the first sight we might not see the…whole picture yet!

    October 25, 2015 at 2:49 am

  56. Now I understand that it’s the person, not the camera – thank you for this piercing insight

    October 25, 2015 at 12:21 am

  57. Beautiful photos and great post! Thank you!

    October 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  58. Hermoso e impresionante.

    October 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

  59. Pingback: An in-flight snack | school704

  60. Pingback: An in-flight snack | Hayden's Sports and Stuff Blog

  61. supre shots

    October 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

  62. Pura Ilusión

    Nature is so awesome…what a pity we don’t take enough care of it

    October 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

  63. What a breathtaking shots you took!

    October 24, 2015 at 9:59 am

  64. Beautiful photos! I could learn a lot…

    October 24, 2015 at 9:35 am

  65. Gorgeous. Incredible timing shot

    October 24, 2015 at 9:33 am

  66. Increíbles

    October 24, 2015 at 6:56 am

  67. Beautiful! 🙂

    October 24, 2015 at 4:16 am

  68. These photography skills are awesome, I hope you guys check out my blog and it enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this one 😊

    October 24, 2015 at 3:56 am

  69. There is some awesome photography skills going on here, if you don’t mind guys check out my blog it’d be great to have some new faces. But then again this was great

    October 24, 2015 at 3:54 am

  70. Great pics. You captured the Merlin’s colors even in what appears to be a day with flat light. Well done.

    October 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm

  71. Amazing shots!

    October 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm

  72. I like it

    October 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

  73. Nice shot,but ewe to the “snack”.

    October 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

  74. How many times can we say Amazing PHOTOGRAPHY?
    Thank you for sharing!
    Evelyn
    Here’s to Your Health!
    evelynmmaxwell.com

    October 23, 2015 at 4:57 pm

  75. I love the barbed wire in the second shot! I shot Stonehenge with barbed wire in the foreground for this post https://transplantingheather.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/the-golden-horseshoe-a-travellers-guide-to-making-your-own-luck/

    October 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm

  76. jizalkolassery

    Any man with cam take pictures … But only a few can make it natural.. That was good work sir, I really enjoyed the pic .

    October 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

  77. What fantastic shots! It’s so difficult to catch a bird in flight in perfect focus. Nicely done!

    October 23, 2015 at 11:56 am

  78. Beautiful pictures

    October 23, 2015 at 11:54 am

  79. I just stopped by, love your photo’s, I grew up on a farm in Northern Alberta and miss seeing all these wonderful birds! In BC, seems all I see are Eagles and crow and Ravens! Are you good at Id’ing birds? I have a very old painting of similar looking hawks (Merlin), but their colours are top red and wings blue with the same markings, any ideas? I’ll try to post it on my sight if you think you could help me figure it out?? Thank you!

    October 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

  80. profilesoflife.wordpress.com

    October 23, 2015 at 9:58 am

  81. Fantastic Photos.

    October 23, 2015 at 9:37 am

  82. Why look for shelter to have a meal!

    October 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

  83. Good one

    October 23, 2015 at 5:37 am

  84. Fantastic Photographs

    October 23, 2015 at 3:40 am

  85. good to see like these pics

    October 23, 2015 at 2:13 am

  86. Definitely a great job, Thank you.

    October 22, 2015 at 11:16 pm

  87. These are fantastic shots! I am so envious. Merlins and kestrels are such wonderful hunters. Thank you for showing them to us.

    October 22, 2015 at 11:13 pm

  88. Incredible photos! Wonderful bird 👍

    October 22, 2015 at 10:35 pm

  89. Amazing shots!

    October 22, 2015 at 9:26 pm

  90. Awesome wild photography!

    October 22, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    • Thank you Ahmad!

      October 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      • How long lens do you use for wild photography?

        October 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      • I use a variety of lenses. These images were shot with a 500mm lens. I also frequently use 300mm and 70-200mm lenses. With larger wildlife (bears, moose, deer, etc.) I enjoy using wider lenses as well to show them in their environment. For those images, I often use a 24-105mm lens or faster primes when it is darker.

        Cheers,
        Chris

        October 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      • Cool!

        October 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm

  91. Amazing shots!!

    October 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm

  92. Wow! Amazing! Great shots.

    October 22, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed them. Thank you.

      October 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      • Stunning, action photography, expressed in wonderful words. Thank you.

        October 23, 2015 at 4:46 am

  93. Loved reading this😀

    FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE IS AS CYCLICAL AS THE TIDES OF THE OCEAN! | thepinkpages92
    https://thepinkpages92.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/falling-in-and-out-love-is-as-cyclical-as-the-tides-of-the-ocean/

    Please do check out!

    October 22, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    • Thank you for visiting Manisha.

      I enjoyed reading your blog very much as well. You have a beautiful style in your writing and a truth that you share which appeals to me deeply. I will continue to follow your posts.

      Love and light,

      Chris

      October 23, 2015 at 1:19 am

  94. Jeff J Janson

    Amazing captures and details…well done!

    October 22, 2015 at 1:12 pm

  95. Wow great pictures

    October 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm

  96. That’s Grea!

    October 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

  97. Loved looking at your images, fabulous!

    October 22, 2015 at 11:11 am

    • I’m very happy you enjoyed it – thank you for taking time to look and for comment.

      October 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm

  98. I’ve never been a fan of in-flight meals. But great photos.

    October 22, 2015 at 10:48 am

  99. Amazing photography. I love the focus and the detail of these photos – nature is an interest which gives me great pleasure to observe. Thanks for sharing.

    https://jenzpic.wordpress.com/

    October 22, 2015 at 10:34 am

  100. Amazing photos . Hey guys, I just posted a short(really short) story on my blog and it would be great if you checked it out. Thanks.
    https://annilz.wordpress.com

    October 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

  101. nice one

    October 22, 2015 at 3:20 am

  102. Beautiful clear shots. I love it when then birds eat mid flight like that 🙂

    October 22, 2015 at 3:00 am

  103. Amazing photos

    October 22, 2015 at 2:33 am

  104. belyndabarbie

    This is really cool! I’m a new blogger, just got in yesterday tho and scanning through posts and discovered yours. I hope to read more from you and pray people follow me and enjoy my posts too the way I enjoyed yours

    October 22, 2015 at 2:13 am

    • Thank you Belynda. All the best with your blogging!

      October 22, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      • belyndabarbie

        Thank you

        October 22, 2015 at 11:33 pm

  105. Em =]

    Beautiful images x

    October 22, 2015 at 12:34 am

  106. Your shots are amazing! I have troubles enough taking an unblurry photo of a standing still bird — the detail that you have captured is incredible! Well done and thanks for sharing along with the background story notes!

    October 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    • Thank you Nomads – I’m glad you liked the images and the story behind it. I wish you all the best in your work.

      October 22, 2015 at 8:50 pm

  107. Nice observation

    October 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

  108. marvelous photos.
    I am a freshman in the enoromous wordpress world. I just started blogging yesterday. As you all know, every freshman need a positive feedback from the superfast bloggers. So I’m expecting a very worm welcome from you. You can visit my Blog so that I can share my Feelings to you. looking for a positive feedback https://domaincombd.wordpress.com/ Thank you. Have a nice day.

    October 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm

  109. F4f?💓

    October 21, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    • Hi – f/5.6 on the post and f/4.0 in the air. Have a great day!

      October 22, 2015 at 8:53 pm

  110. Beautiful! I married the Bird Man, Clyde Kessler, so I greatly appreciate this type of post!

    October 21, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    • Thank you Kendall. I love your work! Have a fantastic day.

      October 22, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      • You are welcome and thanks for the great compliment. Hope you have a fantastic day, too!

        October 23, 2015 at 8:16 am

  111. It’d be absolutely great to have some more views on my blog, and I don’t mind checking out you guys blogs either 😊

    October 21, 2015 at 3:21 pm

  112. Reblogged this on Mon site officiel / My official website.

    October 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm

  113. He’s gorgeous!!!

    October 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm

  114. Looking at these superb shots, I can tell you have a great eye for real-life shots!

    October 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm

  115. dezaro

    One amazing prey catcher… I love the way the photos were taken, it highlights the emotion and the moments of intensity when the prey was caught…

    October 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    • Thank you for your insightful comments. I strive to share the moments that I’m fortunate to see and the emotions that they show.

      October 22, 2015 at 8:58 pm

  116. poor little birdie
    but thats life… 😉
    great shots!

    October 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm

  117. Stunning photos

    October 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm

  118. Wow! Fabulous shot! And now I’m strangely hungry….

    October 21, 2015 at 11:51 am

    • Thanks for commenting GST! Fancy a mouse then? Whatever you select, I hope you appease that strange hunger!

      October 21, 2015 at 11:53 am

      • Twizzlers I think. We’re all just sweet little red sinews in the end, right? 😉

        October 21, 2015 at 11:55 am

  119. Fantastic shot!

    October 21, 2015 at 11:17 am

    • Thank you JoHanna. Happy day to you!

      October 21, 2015 at 11:18 am

      • Your also. Wonderful website and photos. Looking forward to following.

        October 21, 2015 at 11:20 am

      • Thank you for following. I hope you continue to enjoy my future imagery!

        October 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

  120. Attractive and beautiful photos!

    October 21, 2015 at 11:03 am

  121. Great presentation. Awesome observation and narration of the incident.

    October 21, 2015 at 10:41 am

  122. Merlins: The Original Killer Drone

    (If you’re a field mouse.)

    October 21, 2015 at 10:38 am

    • I think you are absolutely right. They are so fast and their ability to hover over a spot makes them deadly to rodents in the field.

      October 21, 2015 at 11:15 am

      • Yes, they are mesmerizing to watch. I wonder what hummingbirds think of them?

        October 21, 2015 at 11:30 am

  123. Stars of Life

    great snaps buddy

    October 21, 2015 at 10:34 am

  124. I love Merlins. They’re like micro-hawks but with better outfits.

    October 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

  125. I really like your photographs. So awesome!

    October 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

  126. Wow, incredible shots!

    October 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

  127. Fabulous pictures!Kudos!

    October 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

  128. Loving this

    October 21, 2015 at 10:10 am

  129. Lovely caption

    October 21, 2015 at 10:10 am

  130. I agree – such great photos!

    October 21, 2015 at 10:04 am

    • Thank you for checking them out Stuart – stop by again anytime!

      October 21, 2015 at 11:18 am

  131. love the caption- love the photos!

    September 14, 2015 at 9:13 am

  132. Awesome shots!

    September 14, 2015 at 8:12 am

  133. Ew_yuck! A little gruesome but great shots. LOL

    September 12, 2015 at 9:51 pm

  134. Gorgeous. Funny how flying makes you hungry!

    September 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm

  135. Extraordinary–am awestruck! Thanks!

    September 11, 2015 at 7:47 pm

  136. Stunning photos, Christopher!

    September 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  137. Wow. Fantastic Photos.

    September 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

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