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Bird Graphic 



Merlin - (Falco columbarius) 


  • Alternating dark and pale bands on tail
  • Longitudinal streaked breast
  • Very thin black vertical “mustache” below eye
  • Males: bluish to pale grey
         (“prairie” race is very pale grey)
  • Females and young: brown with banded tails
  • Similar in size to a Jay, Kestrel, or Sharp-
         shinned Hawk,
  • 12” (30cm)


  • Open country, shorelines, field edge,
         farmland, forest openings

Additional Information

  • Uncommon migrant, rare in winter
  • Uses abandoned nest of other birds
  • Sometimes hunts in pairs, where one
         flushes, the other catches,
  • AKA: Pigeon Hawk
  • Eats mostly small birds, but also larger insects
         (i.e. dragonflies), small mammals

Comparable Species

  • Peregrine Falcon



Kickapoo Valley Reserve | S3661 State Highway 131 | La Farge, Wisconsin 54639 
Phone: 608-625-2960 | FAX: 608-625-2962

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