[Tweeters] Urban Merlins

Kevin Lucas vikingcove at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 16:52:20 PDT 2018


Bud,
Thank you for your informative post. I had no idea. Your ending was very
nice too.
Kevin Lucas
Selah

On Sat, Apr 21, 2018 at 12:51 PM, Bud Anderson <falconresearch at gmail.com>
wrote:


> 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,

> Alberta.

>

> 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

> locations.

>

> 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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>

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