We have a cottage on Kosh Lake (Kasshabog Lake).  We have been on the lake, on an island for the past 11 years.  Traditionally we have Common Ravens on our island. They nest here, raise their young and wake us up very early in the morning.

This spring we witnessed a bit of a battle over the pine trees. We were not sure what type of bird would attack a raven’s nest but attack this bird did. There was a long fight with the raven’s eventually sitting in a nearby pine tree while we watched the attack bird flying around the nest.

Merlin in East City of Peterborough - Marlene Stamler

Merlin in East City of Peterborough – Marlene Stamler

We have heard this bird over the course of the spring, a high pitch “ki, ki, ki, ki” both while in flight and in the trees but until this weekend have been hard pressed to see it close up. This weekend we finally saw it closer, enough to see its tail feathers in flight. Gathering our binoculars we saw it in a tree and watched as it picked away at a bird it had caught.  Our bird book, and searching the internet, has led us to the conclusion that we have nesting Merlins on our little island.

Is this unusual? Will they be here for the rest of the season or will we possibly see them back next year?  Our ravens are gone, but we do hope they come back. They were good company and our little birds, usually around, have also decreased in numbers.

Shirley Bell

N.B. Merlins are now quite common throughout the Kawarthas. They even nest in the City of Peterborough. I suspect they will be back to your island next year, but I think the ravens should be able to stand their ground to them, being quite a bit larger. The return of Merlins to the Kawarthas is actually a good news story, because these birds were almost wiped out by DDT in the 60’s and 70’s.

Merlin (Karl Egressy)

Merlin (Karl Egressy)

Merlin - Mike Faught - April 9, 2015 - Ptbo

Merlin – Mike Faught – April 9, 2015 – Ptbo



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.