Blog Archive: Birdorable Bonanza 2014

Birdorable Merlin

2014 Bonanza Bird #1: Merlin

The first bird in our 2014 Bonanza is a small falcon with a widespread range: the Merlin!

Birdorable Merlin The Merlin is a small-sized falcon found across much of the northern hemisphere. For the most part they are migratory, breeding in the northern Holarctic (northern parts of the Old World and New World) and wintering in the tropics and subtropics. They are found in a wide variety of habitats, including open prairies, taiga forest, and shrubland.

Merlin
Merlin by NatureShutterbug (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Merlins are also sometimes known as pigeon hawks. This is an old colloquial name used in North America. Merlins are similar in size to Rock Pigeons and somewhat resemble them in flight -- hence the name. There are even pigeons in their scientific name, Falco columbarius. Pigeons and doves are in the family Columbidae. As birds of prey, Merlins may also hunt and successfully take a Rock Pigeon as a meal. Like Great Horned Owls and some other birds, Merlins don't build their own nests. They reuse stick nests made by other birds, mostly crows or other raptors. Merlin joins Birdorable today as our 558th species, our 39th bird of prey, and our 9th falcon. If you like Merlins as much as we do, be sure to check out our selection of cute Birdorable Merlin t-shirts and gifts. Our Bonanza continues tomorrow with an LBJ with a lot of range. Can you guess tomorrow's species?

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Birdorable (mini) Bonanza 2014 starts TOMORROW!

November 15th, 2014 in Birdorable Bonanza 2014, Announcements No comments

Our sixth annual Birdorable Bonanza will begin tomorrow! Each year we reveal a number of birds in a burst we like to call our Birdorable Bonanza. You can check out what the previous years were like here: 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013. This Bonanza will be short and sweet: from November 16 through November 22 we will reveal a new species each day on Birdorable. At the end we'll have a whopping 565 different species on Birdorable.com! Here's a sneak peek at the first bird in this year's Bonanza, a small bird of prey with a short, magical name. Can you guess which species will start things off?

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