One of my early photos as I was trying to determine just what I had. The banded tail and lack of strong mustache give it away as a Merlin.
After photographing the falcon perched, I snapped this shot of it taking off. No dark coverts and auxillaries. Merlin.
However, THIS bird does have a mustache. Praire Falcon?
Dark coverts and auxillaries. Yup! Prairie Falcon!
Striped on the abdomen instead of speckles. A juvenile Prairie Falcon.
No bands on the tail.
And that is how you turn a Merlin into a Prairie Falcon! =)