Muuuh Nature & Wildlife

🐦 A Merlin Falcon on my Porch

In December, during a work break, I found myself standing by the balcony door, gazing at the road below. To my astonishment, a bird I had never encountered before was perched remarkably close by. It turned out to be a Merlin Falcon (Falco columbarius). With my camera conveniently nearby, I swiftly captured some photographs and recorded a brief video as the falcon carried on with its prey.

Identification

Peregrine and Merlin Falcons are very similar in appearance. Distinctive characteristics are the pattern and color of breast feathers, shape of the beak and the pattern around the eyes.

Initially, I assigned the identification of the bird in question as a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), created a video, and uploaded it to YouTube. However, thanks to a helpful follower, I have been informed that the bird is actually a Merlin Falcon. Consequently, I had to revise the video by changing the title and description. This serves as a reminder for me to adhere to my workflow, which involves first sharing a photo on iNaturalist and waiting for the community to confirm the identification.

Urban Adaptation

Both species demonstrate remarkable adaptability to urban environments and are often observed hunting in the streets of Montreal. Peregrine Falcons are known to construct nests in tall buildings. As for Merlin Falcons, I have yet to personally come across one of their nests in Montreal. Therefore, I cannot confirm whether Merlin Falcons also choose to build their nests in buildings within the city at this time.


Last updated on 2023-12-25. Written and regularly updated by Karl-Heinz Müller, Dipl. Natw. ETH, Biology. With 10 years of experience in wildlife photography, Karl-Heinz shares first-hand, on-site collected observations, photos and videos from his frequent visits to parks in the Montreal area.