Tag Archives: Falco columbarius

The vigilant Merlin

Smyrill - Merlin - Falco columbarius (male)
Smyrill – Merlin – Falco columbarius (male)

We spotted a pair of Merlins by Goðafoss. They were fighting with a Raven that was trying to get to their nest. This is the male but the female had gone back to the nest. Ravens are scavengers that do not hesitate to steal eggs from other birds’ nests if they get the chance . It did not succeed here and was forcefully driven away.

Merlin lady always on the lookout

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Smyrill – Merlin – Falco columbarius

This Merlin lady is a daily guest in the garden. She preys on the small birds and tries to catch them unawares. The Redpolls are her favourites but she also makes do with Snow Buntings and Starlings.

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Auðnutittlingur – Redpoll – Carduelis flammea

There were around 50 Redpolls here today. These photoes are taken in the garden, February 26.

Hungry birds of prey

In the past few weeks three Merlins have been daily guests in the garden. We have also had a Sparrowhawk visiting occasionally. All these birds of prey have caused havoc in the garden and sometimes the smaller birds stay away for several hours.

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Smyrill – Merlin – Falco columbarius

This male Merlin posed for the camera today after having dined on a Redpoll.

The agility of the Merlin

The Merlin is the most common predatory bird in Iceland. They prey on small birds, mostly feeding on Meadow Pipits and Snow Buntings. Sometimes they even manage to catch Starlings and Redwings.

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Smyrill – Merlin – Falco columbarius (female)

Most of them are migrating birds and go to West Europe for the winter. There are always some that overwinter here and they follow the flocks of Snow Buntings that come into towns for food in the winter time.

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Smyrill – Merlin – Falco columbarius (male)

In the last few days they have been daily visitors in the garden, both males and females. Although it is always sad to see them catch their prey, one can not but admire them for their agility and beauty when they fly low between the tree trunks.

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Smyrill – Merlin – Falco columbarius