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Merlin Falco columbarius | by neil.fisher
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Merlin Falco columbarius

Borneo - Merlin Falco columbarius

 

Weighing in at an average two hundred grams and standing no more than thirty centimetres, the Merlin isn’t exactly a large bird of prey. Their name is derived from the old French name for the species - esmerillion. These resourceful birds don’t build their own nests, and instead take over abandoned nests of other raptors and corvids. Medieval European noblewomen would use merlins for the sport hunting of skylarks - Catherine the Great and Mary Queen of Scots were both notable merlin hunters. They are skill aerial hunters, preying mostly upon other birds caught in midair and will typically specialize in hunting one or two abundant species.

 

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Taken on October 12, 2017