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The Merlin (Falco columbarius).
This Merlin was somewhere in the 24–33 cm (9.4–13 in) long with a 50–73 cm (20–29 in) wingspan with a fairly heavy built. I think it was a female as I also spotted a smaller Merlin nearby that was likely the male. Sexual dimorphism is common among raptors; it allows males and females to hunt different prey animals and decreases the territory size needed to feed a mated pair.
In general, they prefer a mix of low and medium-height vegetation with some trees, and avoid dense forests as well as treeless arid regions. This describes our back and side yard in the south end of Winnipeg where I spotted this fellow. He was perched on the fence between our garage and yard.
Mating pair nesting in pine tree in back yard.