#426 Merlin (Falco columbarius)

05 May

Merlins breed in Baie-D’Urfé and in general in open and semiopen areas across northern North America. The boreal subspecies usually nests near forested openings, in fragmented woodlots, near rivers, lakes, or bogs, and on lake islands. The Pacific Northwest subspecies seems to nest mostly in coastal areas and along rivers. The prairie subspecies nests in shrubs and trees along rivers and in small groves of deciduous trees planted as wind breaks. Merlins are increasingly breeding in towns and cities, where they often take over crow nests in conifers planted in residential areas, schoolyards, parks, and cemeteries. During migration Merlins stop in grasslands, open forests, and coastal areas. They winter in similar habitat across the western United States and southern United States, along the Pacific coast to Alaska, and along the Atlantic coast to southern New England. Their wintering range extends south through Latin America as far as Ecuador.

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