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About the Merlin

Also known as: Pigeon Hawk

The Merlin is a small species of raptor that has a fairly cosmopolitan distribution. Merlins are found across North America and northern parts of South America. They are also widespread across much of Asia and Europe. There are several recognized sub-species and some taxonomies split the American and European birds into distinct species.

Merlins are small falcons found in a variety of habitats. They are fierce and fearless predators that take different prey items including insects, small mammals, reptiles, and other birds.

The global Merlin population is considered stable and the conservation status is Least Concern as of October 2014.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 16 November 2014
Scientific Name Falco columbarius
  • Falconiformes
  • Falconidae
  • Falco
  • F. columbarius
Birdorable Family Birds of Prey
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
9.4 to 11.8 inches
20.9 to 26.8 inches
5.6 to 8.5 ounces

International Names

  • Esmerilhão (Brazilian)
  • 灰背隼 (Chinese)
  • dřemlík tundrový (Czech)
  • Dværgfalk (Danish)
  • Smelleken (Dutch)
  • ampuhaukka (Finnish)
  • Faucon émerillon (French)
  • Merlin (German)
  • Smeriglio (Italian)
  • コチョウゲンボウ [kochougembou] (Japanese)
  • 쇠황조롱이 (Korean)
  • Dvergfalk (Norwegian)
  • drzemlik (Polish)
  • Дербник (Russian)
  • Esmerejón (Spanish)
  • Stenfalk (Swedish)

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