The first bird in our 2014 Bonanza is a small falcon with a widespread range: the Merlin! The Merlin is a small-sized falcon found across much of the northern hemisphere. For... Read more »
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 & Statistics
The Merlin is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be fluctuating, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.