At first I only saw the one Merlin, and it was in a big silver maple tree that was in full flower. But the tree was in the middle of all the backyards, and not possible to get any closer to.
|female Merlin calling|
|female Merlin wing stretch|
|European Starling buzzing female Merlin|
The nest tree is located here in the large spruce tree in front of the house on the NW corner of Howe Ave & E 17 Street. If you go to see it, please be respectful of both the homeowners (I try to knock on the door first before standing in front of someone's house with a camera!) and the birds themselves. Merlin don't usually nest till May or June, so this pair is either returning to an old nest, or got an early start.
|Merlin nest tree|
As I was standing by the tree, the female landed and eyed me for a while. I was surprised how close she let me stand without either taking off, or protesting at me.
|female Merlin in nest tree|
When she did take off, I followed her flight to where she joined her mate in some taller trees in other backyards. The home owner was outside there and graciously welcomed me down her driveway to get a closer view.
|the Merlin pair (male top, female bottom)|
Notice the size difference... this is typical for most raptors and owls in that the female is often about a third larger than the male.
|the male Merlin flies in|
|Female Merlin trying to catch the male's eye.|
|female Merlin all plumped up for preening|
I aim to return there later when, hopefully, there are some young ones flying about.
A big thanks to Doug and Vanessa for letting me know they were there!
Keep enjoying His handiwork!