[Tweeters] Re: Urban Merlins

Benjamin Johnson tiger80 at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 23 11:58:55 PDT 2018

Hello Bill. That is a great question, but a difficult one to answer. We call the local merlins black and feel they more closely fit into the black subspecies than taiga (or Richardon’s) based on field guides, but it isn’t always simple or straight-forward.

When starting this project our expectation was the merlins we would find breeding in the area would be the black merlins. We find many of our breeding adults and their offspring do exhibit characteristics described as belonging to the black subspecies in the literature. However, many individuals don’t display all the black plumage characteristics, and many show quite a wide range of variability, including some characteristics approaching taiga. It seems likely the local merlins could have some taiga in their lineage.

From: Bill Anderson <billandersonbic at yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2018 12:29 AM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu; Benjamin Johnson
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Re: Urban Merlins

What subspecies are these urban merlins?

Bill Anderson; Edmonds, WA. USA

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