[Tweeters] Edmonds Merlins

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sat Jul 16 13:48:59 PDT 2016

Congrats to you (Kenneth) for discovering some Merlins, most likely juveniles that have recently fledged and are playing and practicing flying, chasing, exploring, guarding their food when adults bring or drop it their way, and all sorts of maneuvers that they will need to master in order to make it through this first year and longer. The adults stay nearby, but are not usually very vocal at this time - the kids shriek up a storm with the voices they have learned bring results (in terms of things to eat) from the parents. Some signs besides loud "kee-kee-keeing) that you are seeing juveniles, include : small sprinkles of down on head, under the tail or wings; shorter tail feathers than the adults, bluish-gray or a barely yellow color around beak instead of bright yellow; legs non-yellow colors. Also, until they have been out of the nest for a couple weeks or so, the flights and landings of the youth are not as polished as the adults - the young fly with more wing-fluttering than jet-speed streaming or gliding. The landings are often pretty unsteady. The adult Merlins usually monitor and help with food acquisition for up to 4 weeks after the young have fledged.

Just some basics I thought you (Kenneth) and other Tweets might be interested in. The Merlin young are in good supply in the Seattle areas now - fledging and thereby increased loudness commonly occurs from the end of June through the first three weeks of July, before the juveniles start dispersing out and about.

As was posted recently, there are 2 individuals monitoring and banding Puget Sound-area (especially N. Seattle) Merlins. I, too am very interested in Merlins and each year follow the progress of a few nests, casually, sharing what I have learned in my 9 years of fascination with these birds and through my observations and information gleaned from many sources.

Here are the contact email addresses for reporting Merlin sightings or with questions about the birds, particularly those with a legband or 2:

Kim McCormick <kim.mccormick at comcast.net>
Ben Johnson <bvjohnson87 at gmail.com>

Barb Deihl : (email address is in this post)

The 3 of us are always grateful to hear about your sightings, and glad to share with you what we can from our own experiences.

Kee-kee-kee !

Barb Deihl
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net

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