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Researcher Bruce Haak calls the Merlin the "perfect predator, unequaled ounce for ounce in speed, power, aggression, and adaptability." Three subspecies occur in North America. The Taiga or Boreal Merlin is the most northern and most migratory, with individuals from Alaska making it to South America for the winter. Other subspecies are Black and Pacific merlins, which breed in the Pacific Northwest, and Prairie or Richardson's Merlins, which breed in the Northern Great Planes.
I forgot to post this spotting from last year. While I was driving up my driveway, I spotted a falcon with prey in it's clutched settle down on top of a telephone pole. To my absolute amazement, it was a Merlin, which I've never seen around my property. I rushed back to my place just up the hill, grabbed my camera, and thank God he was still there, feasting on his prize from a distance.