Merlins are highly aggressive towards other raptors and crows during the nesting period. This is beneficial to the song and ground birds of nearby woodlands, since their territory is kept fairly free of predators during the entire mating season. The survival rate amongst young merlins is exceptionally high, with three birds per nest often reaching breeding age. Found throughout the northern hemisphere, they favour areas of open country such as grassland, dunes and coastal areas. The merlin is the smallest falcon in the UK.
Scientific name: Falco columbarius
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The following habitats are found across the Merlin distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Year assessed: 2009
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a small species of falcon from the Northern Hemisphere. A bird of prey once known colloquially as a Pigeon Hawk in North America, the Merlin breeds in the northern Holarctic; some migrate to subtropical and northern tropical regions in winter.
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