On July 16, 2009 I found a young Merlin in our backyard, unable to fly. It was on the ground near a neighbour’s feeder and I watched him for 30 minutes and no parents came. I picked him up and realized that it was fully fledged and had an injured left wing. I kept him two days and fed him scraps of beef and then transferred him to Dave Ascott, an MNR permitted raptor rehabilitator. Dave fed him, let him fly around and took care of him until today, at which point he called me to tell me the bird was ready to release. I brought it back to the same place where I found it and we opened the cage and away it flew, right back to the area near the feeders. Hopefully it will find some lunch or dinner and continue to terrorize the House Sparrows and Starlings frequenting the feeders. There was at least one nest of Merlin on our street and perhaps nest another closer to Queen Mary School. No shortage around downtown. Once a week I hear their high pitched calls (ki,ki,ki,ki).

Location: Gilmour St. Peterborough
Observer: Chris Risley

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.