So the youngsters born this Spring have fledged and although their parents appear still to be in the picture, they have become quite self-sufficient, including superb flying & hunting abilities.
The young Belted Kingfishers are very successful in diving for small fish & the Merlins excel in catching dragonflies in mid-air.
But, of course, there is always sibling rivalry between families and different species.
Photo #1 & Photo #2 are of an encounter between the Belted Kingfisher & Merlin. Believe the Merlin, was actually looking to land on the next tree but was just taking the shortest route which was, of course, past the Kingfisher. And yes, the reason I managed the capture was that I was shooting the Kingfisher, saw it became agitated, kept shooting and into the frame appeared the Merlin.
Photo #3 through Photo #6 are of the two Merlin siblings. There are three but the oldest now only makes brief visits to this particular tree. As with all siblings, sometimes they are quite happy to be next to each other or on nearby branches. And then other times, there is a lot of "he/she is touching me" or a fight over the same top branch.
Photo #7 & Photo #8 are of an encounter between the Belted Kingfisher & the Grackle. With this first incident, the Kingfisher gave way and took flight to avoid the Grackle. Once the Grackle had left the tree, the Kingfisher took its original perch, dived & got a fish. The Grackle re-appeared some time later, tried to bully again but this time the Kingfisher held its perch.
The Grackle did try the same tactic on the Merlins but you can imagine what their attitude was. "Really, you want to make this tree an issue." Grackles do know their limits.