[Tweeters] Stunned Merlin - 10/9/13

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Thu Oct 10 20:01:16 PDT 2013


Tweets:

Thought some of you falcon 'ficionados might get a kick out of this experience had by a gal (and her chickens) from the 2010 Merlin nest site in the Pinehurst neighborhood in NE Seattle. That site is part of the territory utilized for the past 6 years by Spike & Thor who have kept things interesting with 5 young/year for 5 of the 6 years - one of several 'successful' breeding situations in the area, 'spiking' the population of suburban Merlin pairs.

Nice impact these birds have had on many of the residents of their "chosen" neighborhoods...

Kee-kee-kee !

Barb

Begin forwarded message:


> Date: October 9, 2013 4:34:34 PM PDT

> To: Barbara Deihl <barbdeihl at comcast.net>

> Subject: Stunned Merlin

>

> Hi Barb,

>

> The weirdest thing just happened. I was going in and out of the house,

> tending to the chickens, when on my way back in the last time I saw a

> Merlin, upside down, lying on our back deck. I looked carefully and

> saw that it was breathing. I hurried inside and got a dish towel to

> pick it up. I went back out, scooped it up and it opened its eyes,

> blinked a couple times, then just launched itself from my hands and

> flew off. It was not a banded bird. I have to say, it was a marvelous

> thing to behold so closely!

>

> -Amy



and from today:

Yes, it was quite a wild experience. To see those eyes so close up was
fabulous! And you're right about the talons. They were very long and
sharp looking. What a beautiful bird it was! When I was checking for
its breathing I was also appreciating its feathers and their coloring.

When the Merlin flew off my chickens went and hid for a while. It
scared them. We have heard the Merlins a lot this summer and autumn
and seen them more than in recent years. I always look up when I hear
them. Though that could be because I now wear hearing aids and am
appreciating many more birds than ever. [:-)]

They have been hanging out in or near ours and [our neighbor to the south's] trees. We can
hear more than one at a time, often. There is a great variety and
number of little birds here. I still feed them. It keeps the Merlin's
fed, too, much as I hate to think about it. I think if the Merlin had
attempted to lift one of my chickens it would have been beaten to
death by her wings or had a heart attack from the effort. The chickens
don't stay out in the open with that confidence, though. I think
they're convinced that little bird COULD carry them off. What a funny
sight that would be. Horrifying, but funny.

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