[Tweeters] yard raptor of the day - Merlin

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Wed Oct 12 15:28:32 PDT 2016

Chitter chitter, pic pic - that's the call of a Merlin calling out to a mate or a prospective one. I had a drop-by yesterday afternoon at around 4:15 - into the top of a very tall Douglas Fir tree across the street. It repeated the call sequence and then, after a few minutes of waiting with no response, it did the "flutterfly" off to the SW - that's the only time I caught sight of it and was unable to determine age, sex or whether or not it had any leg bands. This could be part of a search for next year's nest (evacuated crow or hawk nest from this year - likely crow in this neighborhood) or the autumn courtship response that some birds do for a short while. Regardless why the bird was on the street, it certainly was good to hear and see - maybe next year a pair will nest nearby - there was a close call this year, but the female spurned us after a one-day test run - there were a lot of crows bugging her...

So, if you can't make it to Chelan Ridge for the major raptor passing, perhaps one of the increasing number of suburban Merlins will grace you with a little action in your neighborhod this fall :-)

Kee-kee-kee (more of a breeding season call).

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

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