My husband caught this Merlin, he even has a kill in his claws!
Merlin pairs have been seen teaming up to hunt large flocks of waxwings: one Merlin flushes the flock by attacking from below; the other comes in moments later to take advantage of the confusion.
Merlins don’t build their own nests. Instead, they take over the old nests of other raptors or crows. They also use magpie nests, sometimes laying eggs right on top of the nest’s dome rather than inside the cavity.
Though it’s not much bigger than the more common American Kestrel, the Merlin is heavier and often appears considerably larger. As with most raptors, female Merlins are larger than males.
The name “Merlin” comes from esmerillon, the old French name for the species. Merlins used to be called “pigeon hawks” because in flight they look somewhat pigeon-like. Their species name,columbarius, is also a reference to pigeons.
Medieval European noblewomen—including Catherine the Great and Mary Queen of Scots—used Merlins for sport to hunt Skylarks. European and North American falconers continue to work with Merlins, hunting quarry that ranges from sparrow-sized to dove-sized.
The oldest known Merlin was at least 11 years, 11 months old. It was banded as an adult in New York in 1982 and recovered in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1993.
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Wild Bird Wednesday, The BIRD D’pot
Both stunning shots and great infomation
I will look for these around my home – and now I’ll know what they are! Saw in earlier posts you were in my neck of the woods not too long ago. Hope Bozeman treated you well!
Fantastic photos, and great info!
Cool bird and awesome shots!
Oh dear…. he is nice, but one hates to see the poor “other birdie” …..
Wow….again, incredible images!! We have one merlin for the past three years come visit us in our neighborhood tree. [At least I think it’s the very same….]
Really, beautiful and such a wonderful, clear image.
Thanks for sharing the link at I’d Rather B Birdin’
Wow, amazing capture for photographer and the bird.