Merlin (Falco columbarius)
subspecies: Taiga Merlin

Merlin photo


Adult: (shown) approximately pigeon size; sexes similar in coloration patterns; the tell-tale "mustache" and other markings are darker in males than females; Tail: long, with 3 slate blue bands and wide, white terminal band; Wings: long, angular with sharp point; underwings are always dark; Head: slate-blue back and crown; throat patch white and unmarked; Eye: dark brown with yellowish eye ring.

Immature: similar to adult female; Back and Wings: dark brown without grayish cast; Tail: 4 buff colored bands with 1 white terminal band.


Generally found nesting near large (>1 km2) or locally dense lakes with shoreline habitat comprised of coniferous trees. Nests in old crow and hawk nests; nearly always in conifer species.


Summer resident in northern 1/3 of state. Rarely present during winter.

Merlin range map
photo of Merlin habitat


sound file Audio recordings donated by John Feith. Additional bird call recordings available at

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