Birds of Beaumont #11 – Merlin

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 ©

Stealthy

stoic

sentinel

surmounting

soaring

spruce,

steadily

staring

skyward,

surveying

scenic

surroundings,

seeking

specific

stomach

sustenance,

suddenly

shrilly

shrieking,

sending

swirling

sparrows

scattering,

searching

safe

sanctuary.

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.

Published by kagould17

Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my “to-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

21 thoughts on “Birds of Beaumont #11 – Merlin

    1. Hi John. Thanks for stopping by. When I worked in downtown Edmonton, we had a peregrine pair nesting on a nearby building. I often saw them flying by, but no photos either. Thanks for reading and have a good August 1. Allan

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  1. Great photos! And I’m embarrassed to say that one of my blogging friends from Australia posted several times about these birds, and yet each time I thought she was saying “Covid birds”…… and I couldn’t figure out what birds had to do with Covid!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Merlins and how powerfully fierce they look despite being on the small size when compared to the rest of birds of prey. I am not to sure if there are any in Ireland, I haven’t had a chance to see them yet, but in Latvia, there are seven different species of Merlins. As always, fantastic photos, Allan 🙂 Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always smile when I hear their call, because I know the crows will make themselves scarce. They are out teaching life lessons to their young right now. Teach them to hunt crows well and to come back and nest here next year. Thanks for reading Aiva. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He looked like he was straight out of Harry Potter. He was a bit scared, but more than that, he did not want his Mommy to find out about the mess he had gotten himself into with the jays. Glad I was able to help him out. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Like

  3. Very cool little hawk/falcon. I get to see Peregrine falcons every once in a while down here. Texas Motor Speedway has them nesting above the stands. They put on quite a show before a race. And they are as fast as everybody says. That is one amazing bird. Glad you got to capture pics of one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Scott. Hope all is going well. These little falcons are real stealth fighters. Such speed and precision. They had some chicks this year and are busy teaching them how to terrorize the crows. I am down with that. Stay well and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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