[Tweeters] Urban Merlins
vikingcove at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 16:52:20 PDT 2018
Thank you for your informative post. I had no idea. Your ending was very
On Sat, Apr 21, 2018 at 12:51 PM, Bud Anderson <falconresearch at gmail.com>
> Lynn Oliphant was the first person to document Merlins moving into a North
> American city back in 1971 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
> The next year they found 2 pairs and by 1982, there were 16. Lynn
> estimates that there are now around 30-40 pairs in that city.
> A similar Merlin expansion also took place about that time in Edmonton,
> Here in Washington, nesting Merlins had always been very rare despite many
> experienced raptor people looking for them for decades.
> There is very little historic information about them for our state.
> That all started to change in the 1980's thanks to people like Tom
> Gleason, Jim Fackler and others who started finding nesting pairs on the
> Olympic Peninsula and up the Skagit and Stillaguamish Rivers among other
> The first known city pair that I am aware of was found in a neighborhood
> in Bellingham in 2000.
> The number increased to at least four pairs in Bellingham over the next
> few years.
> Then Merlins started a slow southward "colonization", showing up over the
> next few years in Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Anacortes, Stanwood, Everett,
> Edmonds and finally Seattle.
> Fortunately, we have had Ben Vang-Johnson and Kim Mc Cormick documenting
> and studying this expansion in Seattle since 2013.
> This phenomenon of raptors moving into cities is, of course, not just
> limited to Merlins.
> We first saw it in Red-tailed Hawks after the I-5 freeway opening back in
> the mid-60's, Bald Eagles showed up in Kirkland and Seward Park shortly
> afterwards, peregrines arrived in 1994, and who knows when the first
> Cooper's Hawks started to breed in Seattle. Butch Olendorff had a pair on
> the hillside west of the Duwamish Slough in the late 1960's.
> Ospreys are likely to have been nesting on Lake Washington even further
> back in time.
> This colonization involving raptors moving into urban habitats is
> happening all across our continent.
> It is also underway in Europe with goshawks and sparrowhawks also moving
> into cities.
> So Merlins are likely to keep increasing in numbers locally, and Seattle
> should be no exception.
> How wonderful is that?
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> Tweeters at u.washington.edu
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