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Raptor ID Help!

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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 00:36   #1
kalikuma
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Raptor ID Help!

Hi folks,

I'm a novice birder and I'd like to enlist your help in IDing this raptor I saw in my neighborhood. I live in Kitsap County in Washington in the Pacific Northwest (US), and a few days ago I spotted this raptor way way up in the top of a pine tree, defeathering a dead bird and proceeding to eat it. I got some blurry photos of it. I think it's a juvenile peregrine falcon because it does look like it has malar stripes though not very prominent, and it looks like it has thick legs. At the time it did look like a sizeable bird at maybe 22 inches from head to tip of tail, but it was pretty far away so it may have been smaller. I know there are black merlins here so could it be that?

I attached photos but I also have some equally blurry videos if they would be helpful.

Thank you in advance for any ideas as to what this bird is!
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 03:30   #2
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Hi Neighbor, I think you've found a Merlin. One of my personal favorites!
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 08:08   #3
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Merlin, always wanted to see one of those
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 10:51   #4
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It's a Merlin, kalikuma. Welcome to BirdForum. Please feel free to come back with any more questions you might have.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 13:11   #5
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Ditto to Merlin, the dark PNW subspecies Falco columbarius suckleyi. As an aside, it's in a Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla, not a pine
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 14:42   #6
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Agree with Merlin.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 17:53   #7
kalikuma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Ditto to Merlin, the dark PNW subspecies Falco columbarius suckleyi. As an aside, it's in a Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla, not a pine
Looks like I need to brush up on my tree IDs too! Thank you also for the scientific name.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 20:12   #8
kalikuma
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That's weird, it looks like my original response never got posted. I wanted to thank everyone who helped me ID this bird. I have a feeling I'll be back on this forum quite often with ID questions! :)
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 20:21   #9
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You got some great shots of this Merlin with its prey.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 20:23   #10
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BTW, a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 20:49   #11
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Agree with Merlin. Great photos. And welcome to BirdForum.

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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 21:07   #12
kalikuma
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Thank you!
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