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General description.

The Merlin, a bird of the falcon family, is a very beautiful and powerful bird. the color of this bird varies across its range. For example, on the prairie Merlins are lighter and in the West they are darker. This bird can often be found in forest and grassland searching for the small birds on which it preys. To catch its prey, the Merlin flies low to the ground and has bursts of speed while chasing prey to catch it. Merlins nest in trees and on cliffs. Though usually quite tame, Merlins become very defensive of their nest, often attacking intruders to protect their eggs and young. The Merlin is a very uncommon bird and populations are threatened by the use of pesticide and heavy metals because they thin the eggshells.

Female appearance.

The female Merlin has a brown back unlike the male who has a blue-gray back. The stomach and chest of the female are more heavily streaked than the male.

Flight pattern.

Direct with powerful wing beats.

Breeding habits.


Calls or song.

ki-ki-kee, kek-kek-kek

Population and distribution.


Nesting habits.

The Merlin nests in trees and on cliffs and lays 2-7 white eggs.
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