Scientific Name: Falco columbarius
Arwen was found in Croton Township and brought to Blandford in 2010 as a juvenile. She was shot in the wing which caused damage to her muscle tissue. While she can fly, she remains unable to hunt. It is illegal to shoot birds of prey!
Status of Merlins in Michigan
Merlins are a State threatened species.
Their call is a repeating sharp “ki-ki-ki-ki-kee.”
In Michigan, Merlins prefer spruce forests near bogs or open water. They are found in Alaska, Canada and the northern United States during the warmer seasons, and then migrate to the Gulf of Mexico and South America during the winter.
Merlins feed on small birds that they ambush from a perch or capture in mid-flight. In the summer, large insects are also eaten. They hunt in more open areas such as grasslands, wetlands, forest edges, and lake shorelines.
Importance of Merlins in Our Ecosystems
Merlins help keep populations of small birds and large insects in check. They also eat insects that are agricultural pests.
Threats to Merlins
-Expanding areas of development are destroying Merlin breeding grounds.
How We Can Help Merlins
-Do not harm Merlins. It is against the law to shoot them!
-Help keep their habitats intact.
-Help keep track of Merlin populations by reporting any sightings to the Michigan Natural Features Inventory by calling 517-373-1552.
-Merlins are one of the few birds of prey that have different color variations between the sexes. Males are a dark grayish blue color while females are a dark brown color