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Merlin Falcon

Falco columbarius


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.

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Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 years ago

Thanks Christy :) Yeah I feel lucky whenever I see these guys too. I know we have 'em here, they are just so good at staying hidden and stealthy.

ChristyHolland 7 years ago

Lucky!! Great series, Joshua! My very first spotting was a merlin...and I think I've only gotten one more...they're pretty scarce around here, too.

Josh Asel
Spotted by
Josh Asel

Sebastopol, California, USA

Spotted on Dec 15, 2012
Submitted on Sep 8, 2013

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