Tuesday, March 8, 2022

A Merlin on the Tuolumne River, for the Second Time This Year

I didn't post about this back in January for plenty of reasons, too busy with school starting, and lousy pictures, but Merlins (Falco columbarious) have been visiting the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail this year. I saw one on January 6 which was gloomy and dark and not conducive for picture-taking, but the only other time was way back in 2018. But today was perfect weather, and the Merlin was cooperating by perching out in the open where I could get a few decent pictures.

Merlins are the 'Lady Hawks' of Medieval times, but they are actually falcons, and like other falcon species, they have been used by falconers for years for hunting and hobby purposes. They underwent a severe decline because of the use of DDT in the fifties and sixties, but they have recovered nicely since the pesticide was outlawed. 

It was a pleasant surprise to see one today.

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