Merlin

A magnificent Merlin in the sun.
I must say, this one looked awfully big. I mean, for a Merlin.
Females do run larger, as in many of the raptors.
Look at those long falcon wings!

She was looking this way and that, that way and this. Down below, in the same tree, a squirrel moved about. Merlins mostly eat birds. “Pigeon Hawk” is an old name for them; the binomial Falco columbarius nods also to the pigeons. Prey can include anything from kinglets and gnatcatchers to woodcock and green-winged teal. Chimney Swifts have even been recorded! Bats, toads, grasshoppers, dragonflies, pocket gophers… squirrels — Bent doesn’t specify what species of squirrels.

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