Merlin


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I discovered this Female Merlin flying like a rocket to the top of this bare tree. She looked like a Peregrine Falcon as I watched her from a distance. I was photographing in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and had seen a Peregrine the preceding day and was eager to see it again. As I got closer, I realized this falcon was too small to be a Peregrine. When I got close enough to photograph her, she was scanning the area below her from the top of this tree. I learned later (after I identified it as a Female Merlin), that they can fly 30 plus mph and even faster and they eat smaller birds. They catch these small birds in midair with a high-speed attack. Even though the Merlin looks just like a miniature Peregrine, Merlins are prey for Peregrine Falcons!

Sandra Calderbank
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Strega in The Valley

AV156211
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Matt Jackson flies the P-51 Mustang "Strega" through the Valley of Speed during the 2013 Reno National Championship Air Races.
Rick Pisio
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http://www.rwphotos.com/blog/?p=2039
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P-51 Mustang Air Racer “Voodoo”

AV156206
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P-51 Mustang Air Racer "Voodoo" runs up the RPM's after a heat race at the 2013 Reno National Championship Air Races.
Rick Pisio
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http://www.rwphotos.com/blog/?p=2008
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Mustang Trio

AV156003
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Three P-51D Mustangs, fronted by by Ted Contri's "Sizzlin Liz," lined up on the tarmac at the 2013 Nevada County Airfest in Grass Valley, CA. The Nevada County Airfest is held every other year and in addition to the sun being behind the crowd all day long the crowd is closer to the taxiways than most aviation events.

The Mustang first appeared in combat over the skies of Europe in the winter of 1943-44. It quickly became the dominant American fighter of World War II and served through the late 1940's and into the Korean War. After World War II, the P-51 Mustang also saw service in the air arms of more than 55 nations.
Rick Pisio
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http://www.rwphotos.com/blog/?p=1857
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photog@rwphotos.com