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Old Apr 15, 2005, 3:54 PM   #1
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I found the tree the Merlin seems to nest in so I stacked two 1.4x teleconverters to my 400/5.6 Canon lens to see if I could get in close and get some reasonable quality to the shot. The lens still autofocused using a combo of Canon and Kenko converters and this was the result:






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Old Apr 15, 2005, 6:54 PM   #2
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Great shot - I didn't know that you could stack teleconverters.
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 7:33 PM   #3
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You were trying to simulate what I did with the 2x & 2 1.4x's with the Northern Hawk Owl shot I posted?

I just want to say that this merlin is the lightest merlin I've ever seen. I've seen... 6 or so, and they are all much darker than this one. I find it really odd. As quick look in my Sibley book shows that there are 3 different plumage types. This looks to be a "prairie" one.

I still find it odd.

Nicely done. They move through here and few actually stay around. I wish they did.

Eric
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 8:31 PM   #4
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Wow! I'd say the lens/converters combonation did quite a respectable job. Great shots.
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 2:18 AM   #5
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Ottawa-Canada wrote:
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Great shot - I didn't know that you could stack teleconverters.
Thanks Ottawa, I've stacked them before but not with retention of auto focus. With the Kenko/Canon combo I'm able to retain auto focus and not need an extension tube between the two so the lens also retains infinity focus. A nice novelty but I wouldn't want to do this for any really important photo.
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 2:22 AM   #6
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eric s wrote:
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You were trying to simulate what I did with the 2x & 2 1.4x's with the Northern Hawk Owl shot I posted?

I just want to say that this merlin is the lightest merlin I've ever seen. I've seen... 6 or so, and they are all much darker than this one. I find it really odd. As quick look in my Sibley book shows that there are 3 different plumage types. This looks to be a "prairie" one.

I still find it odd.

Nicely done. They move through here and few actually stay around. I wish they did.

Eric
I didn't see that post, eric, but I'll sure have a look. Yes, this is the Richardson's Merlin and it is quite a bit lighter. Thankfully I believe that this one has decided to nest very near where I live so I can keep an eye on it. If anyone has any information on this bird's nesting habits I would like to know as much as possible in order to help me watch this thing.
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 2:24 AM   #7
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[email protected] wrote:
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Wow! I'd say the lens/converters combonation did quite a respectable job. Great shots.
Thanks mullen, it was more a test than anything else and I doubt that I'll do too much of it in the future as the quality is just not quite where it needs to be. Good for spying on the enemy, though. :G
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 11:20 AM   #8
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The hawk owl is mixed in with other shots here:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...99&forum_id=11

3rd picture down.

I know someone who probably knows the most about raptors of anyone in Mass. I'll ask him for some detail about merlins. He can be busy, but it's worth a try.

The Sibley's guide to birds doesn't list that type of merlin. My copy of "The photographic guide to North American Raptors" is down stairs, so I can't check that. Where did you get that type from?

Eric
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Old Apr 16, 2005, 10:35 PM   #9
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eric s wrote:
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The hawk owl is mixed in with other shots here:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11

3rd picture down.

I know someone who probably knows the most about raptors of anyone in Mass. I'll ask him for some detail about merlins. He can be busy, but it's worth a try.

The Sibley's guide to birds doesn't list that type of merlin. My copy of "The photographic guide to North American Raptors" is down stairs, so I can't check that. Where did you get that type from?

Eric
Thanks for your help, Eric. My own Sibley's has the Richardson's Merlin included along with a drawn picture of it's lighter coloration. I just bought the field guide so it's perhaps an updated or newer version than your own. I'm away from home at the moment but, if you wish, when I get home I'll post the publishing particulars on this issue.

I also got confirmation from bird experts at the Calgary Weaselhead wildlife site. They have been quite helpful to me over the past while.
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Old Apr 18, 2005, 11:01 AM   #10
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Mine is the older full-north american version. There is a newer one, so you probably have that.

I talked to the head of the New England Hawk Watch Society on Sunday and he *guessed* that they nest in cavities. But he isn't sure. He mostly based it on the fact that the larger raptors are nest builders, but the smaller (like kestrels) are cavity nesters. So you might want to look for holes in trees for the nest.

I'm going to try contacting the former head of that same society (he teaches a winter raptor class, so he probably knows.) He is very busy so I don't always hear from him.

Eric
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