[Tweeters] article on Merlins and trees

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sun Jul 19 14:30:58 PDT 2015

Just published in the ShorelineAreaNews, is a timely and appropriate article on the Merlins in their neighborhoods in and around Northish Seattle, well-written and nicely pulling together two inevitable themes when there are Merlin falcons nesting in an urban/suburban habitat - 1. What are the Merlins like?; and 2. Why are tall trees and deadtopped trees important to have in a Merlin habitat?

Thoughts and information on both questions can be accessed in an article on their local Merlins by Christine Southwick, at


Christine had my permission to use some of the photos I had taken a few years ago, of another brood of Merlin young in that same Shoreline neighborhood. For those of you who have visited the Echo Lake Neighborhood site this year, notice how the "deadtops" have changed over time. Luckily, there are some new deadtop or snag contenders appearing on some properties up there - hopefully a couple of them will be relegated to wildlife use and not just cut down. :-)

There are a few things in the article that you may have questions about. The main one that I had (and have discussed with Christine), is the description of the height of trees preferred by Merlins (for nesting). Apparently, some subspecies of Merlins, in habitats different from our forested ones here in the Puget Sound area, like trees about 18 feet high. However, as many of you know, 'our' Merlins prefer 100-ft.tall conifers, with an old crow or hawk nest at about the 80-90-ft. level.

If you have any other questions or a comment or 2, feel free to write to me or Christine.

Enjoy the article. Kee kee kee !

Barb Deihl
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net

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