Educational film showing Merlins (a type of bird) feeding their young, guarding nest, learning to fly etc.
A Pro Patria Films Ltd presentation produced by British Instructional Films Ltd.
Central Wales landscape. Sheep run on the hills. Motorcycle speeding up a rough road on a mountain. Tow people walking through the heather. They are bird watchers and find a good spot to hide whilst they look through their binoculars at the bird life. They spot a pair of Merlins and decide to look for their nest. C/U of four eggs in a nest. They build a hide from pieces of wood and canvas in which the cameraman could film the birds. They cover the hide with heather and the cameraman gets in. This will be his home during the daylight hours for the next month. He takes into the hide some refreshment - a china jug of the sort which usually contains scrumpy with XXX painted on the side (but not before one of the hide builders has a swig). C/U of the nest, one of the Merlins has hatched. Shots of the mother feeding the babies a small bird.
Shot of the "plucking ground" several miles away. The mother bird reacts to the sound of the camera and puffs up her feathers. The chicks are growing and we see them being fed small morsels of food. One chick learns to flap his wings. Shot of three chicks sitting on a man's arm. The chicks begin to explore. The growing birds again sit on the cameraman's arm. One of the birds is chosen to be the filmmakers' pet. He is fastened to a tree stump by a cord. A young boy holds out titbits and the bird flies and lands on his hand to eat them. A rabbits head is placed on the ground and the bird flies to that and begins to eat it. The bird is so gentle that he will "take a piece of rabbit from his mistress' lips". Shot of woman feeding and holding the bird. In olden days the Merlin was a "lady's hawk". C/U of the bird on the woman's hand. Merlin taking a bath. It seems that the narrator is the cameraman we have seen in the film.
Note: there are 2 combined prints of this film.