Thursday, December 10, 2015

Merlin a Winter Favorite

Yesterday we had a brief window of sunshine in the late afternoon in which we got out for a well deserved walk.  To our surprise we also saw a record high number of diverse bird species.  You can see our observation list here.  One of our winter favorites is the Merlin in the above photo that I took yesterday. This is a small bird, about the size of a Morning Dove, but do not be fooled by its size, it is a member of the falcon family and a fierce competitor that is capable of taking a sparrow in mid-air. This is the third winter we have seen a Merlin in Salemtowne where we live.  Looking at my eBird records, I notice we see it arrive in October and is gone by the end of February to travel to the far north to breed. We have watched it enough that we know three different trees that it prefers to use that we can spot it most days.

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