[Tweeters] Greater Seattle-Area Merlin Study

Benjamin Johnson tiger80 at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 5 08:26:59 PDT 2016


Hello All. We are following 12 merlin territories this year in the greater Seattle-area. Our best year yet, and a very busy year! However, even with 12 nesting territories we believe there are more out there. We'd greatly appreciate your help locating more. Now is a great time of year to locate merlin territories as the young are starting to fledge. The young typically stay around the nesting territory for 3-4 weeks after fledging, and they are often very vocal and active. If you happen to spot any merlins, particularly multiple merlins interacting with each other, we'd love to hear about it. We'll keep any observations you report to us confidential, and if a nest or fledglings are present we can certainly keep you informed on their progress and outcome.


We have also banded numerous merlins within the greater Seattle-area. So, in addition to general merlin observations we'd also greatly appreciate any sightings of banded merlins. If you happen to be watching a merlin with a spotting scope or high-powered camera (or in some cases even just binoculars) please take a look at the legs, you might see a red, blue, or silver band. Sometimes merlins perch in ways that cover their legs, so you may have to wait until the merlin stretches or stands up off its legs to see if it is banded. Each banded merlin will have the standard U.S. Geological Survey silver band. On the other leg you will likely see a blue or red band with 2 characters on it. The blue bands have two letters stacked vertically. The red bands have two numbers horizontally. If you spot one of these bands and identify just the color, the color and just one of the characters, or the color and both characters, we'd love to hear about it. The sightings of banded birds helps us determine the range of individual merlins as well as the relationships between merlins. You can always report banded birds to the Bird Banding Lab, and we encourage you to do so, but we'd love to hear about your sightings directly too.


We'll send out a nesting synopsis to tweeters late summer or early fall to give you all a summary of the nesting merlins of the greater Seattle-area for 2016.


If you have any questions or would like to report merlin observations and/or band sightings, please contact myself or Kim. Thanks for all your help!


Ben Vang-Johnson and Kim McCormick


bvjohnson87 at gmail dot com 206-276-1095[X]

kim dot mccormick at Comcast dot net
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