Photos taken April 24 and May 4, 2021.
Since the massive influx of annoying Corvids started in Beaumont about 10 years ago, we have had at least one pair of beautiful Merlins making their summer home near us. The nest location might change from year to year, but we always smile when we hear the shrill shrieks of the Merlin pair as they drive the crows away. Sometimes, the crows are the harriers, as a lone Merlin becomes their target. I have been trying to capture a photo of the Merlins for some time, but have never been lucky enough, until my beloved told me there was one right outside my front door, well not quite right outside, but my long lens was able to capture him before he took off on his next flight.
Size: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches) W 58-66 cm ( 23-26 inches)
Status: uncommon yearround, mainly in large cities in winter
Habitat: breeding: mixed and coniferous forests; suburban areas. In migration; open fields, grasslands and lakeshores such
Nesting: in coniferous or deciduous trees, crevices or cliffs. Might reuse abandoned raptor, crow, jay or magpie nests. Lines nest with green vegetation. Either parent incubates 4 or 5 eggs for 28-31 days.
Voice: loud, noisy cackling cry kek-kek-kek-kek-kek or ki-ki-ki-ki
Similar Species: Kestrel
Source: Partners and Lone Pine Publishing Birds of Alberta
Stoic Sentinel ©
The shot below is of a newly fledged Merlin chick that landed in my yard in July 2020 and was being mercilessly harassed by adult Blue Jays (turn about is fair play, I guess). They would not let him fly away, so I went out to intervene.