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Merlins

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  • Martin Bailey
    Yesterday morning, Saturday, Kelly Kojik and I bicycled around Weyburn looking for Merlin nest locations. Prime territory - spruce trees three stories high
    Message 1 of 18 , May 5 8:58 AM
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      Yesterday morning, Saturday, Kelly Kojik and I bicycled around Weyburn
      looking for Merlin nest locations.

      Prime territory - spruce trees three stories high near other trees -
      represents 3 square kilometres of Weyburn. There we located three sites
      that we are pretty sure are nesting locations.
      Plotting these locations on a city map outlines a equilateral triangle with
      one kilometer sides. The triangle falls within a half a kilometer of the
      outside borders of prime Merlin territory.

      Two other potential sites rest on the north and south edges of prime
      territory. These sites are within a half a kilometer of two of the three
      more certain sites.

      Outside of the 3 square kilometer core there is a location to the west with
      the right habitat that is more or less a half a kilometer square. Merlins
      have nested there in the past.

      On the other side of rail line and river South Hill, aptly named, has also
      been a Merlin nesting location. It takes up about 3 square kilometers of
      area and has been settled as long as the center town area where Merlins are
      now nesting. However, it is not nearly as well treed as center town.

      While a pair of Merlins nested in a grove of spruce on the south edge of
      South Hill two years ago, they did not last year, nor are they to be found
      anywhere on South Hill this year - as yet.

      Irate homeowners, "Those bastards are eating our song birds," claim there
      must be a dozen or more pairs of Merlins coarsing through the sober streets
      of Weyburn ruining everything. I, on the other word, speculate that a pair
      of Merlins in Weyburn have a territory of a half square kilometer in prime
      territory. Overall, Weyburn can support seven pairs of rapacious raptors.
      This excludes the Cooper Hawk which may be nesting in city limits. (Don't
      tell anybody!)

      Martin
    • valndoyle
      Our daughter and son-in-law live in southeast Regina. They have a small bungalow and very small backyard but to our delight are getting interested in birding.
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 22, 2003
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        Our daughter and son-in-law live in southeast Regina. They have a
        small bungalow and very small backyard but to our delight are getting
        interested in birding. They bought a feeder, Doyle made them a
        birdbath from disc blades last year and I made them a House Wren
        house. Wouldn't you know though, they have had a somewhat noisy pair
        of Merlins that picked the tall poplar tree in their yard as their
        summer perch! The pair recently left for a short while but today
        Marlis says they are back. The other bird species were quite scarce
        around there. We had great views of the Merlins though as they perched
        on the limbs. Anyhow, a pair of House Wrens did manage to find the
        house and eventually nested. Mar got quite a kick out of the chatty
        little birds when out watering.

        I counted 12 Mourning Doves ground feeding this morning, two Brown
        Thrashers were bathing and several House Sparrows around. The Barn
        Swallows are raising another family. The pair of Baltimore Orioles
        have been several times to the feeder and still have our four
        Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. That's all I've seen this morning and am
        heading into work right now. Have a good birding weekend everyone.
        We're off to Saskatoon as our son-in-law is in a body building contest
        tomorrow.

        Val from McTaggart
      • valndoyle
        For the last couple of days we have had three Merlins patrolling our yard. It makes for little birding activity around the feeders. The Great Blue Heron was
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 15, 2005
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          For the last couple of days we have had three Merlins patrolling our
          yard. It makes for little birding activity around the feeders. The
          Great Blue Heron was flying over the field east of us and also
          American Robins and Northern Flickers (Yellow Shafted) are gathering
          around the yard. Two Dark-eyed Juncos plus one White-crowned Sparrow
          came to the feeder and loads of Yellow-rumped Warblers hopped in the
          trees. We still have six Mourning Doves, the House Wrens, Barn
          Swallows, Rock Pigeons, Black-billed Magpies, one Red-winged
          Blackbird, Brewers Blackbirds and House Sparrows around. Doyle
          counted 17 Sandhill Cranes flying over the house this afternoon.

          Donna, better luck next time on the white one! We've been in the
          same boat about directions (our memories are especially terrible)
          and finally this year I decided to print them off to take along :-).

          For those interested in Buck Lake heading from Regina - we found it
          three years ago thanks to Bob. From Regina just go south on #6
          several kilometers until you see a sign that says Yankee Ridge Road.
          The farm along the highway there is loaded with fir trees. Turn east
          off the highway and go to the end; the lake is right in front of you.

          Val and Doyle - McTaggart
        • Bailey and Bjorklund
          ... I wonder if they were part of the same group we saw flying over Weyburn at 4:30 -5:00. Crows are now migrating thro Weyburn. I think I might go down to
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 16, 2005
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            > Doyle counted 17 Sandhill Cranes flying over the house this afternoon.

            I wonder if they were part of the same group we saw flying over Weyburn at
            4:30 -5:00.

            Crows are now migrating thro Weyburn. I think I might go down to city hall
            and tell them. Otherwise, they might start shooting them again this year.

            Martin



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          • Bob
            This morning, a calling male Merlin was perched the nesting tree within the housing complex. This is the first time I have seen this species here this since
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 7, 2006
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              This morning, a calling male Merlin was perched the nesting tree within the
              housing complex. This is the first time I have seen this species here this
              since last fall.

              I suspect the female will arrive soon and the courting will begin
              immediately.

              On Sunday 05, I saw a mixed flock (approx. equal numbers) of 40+- Horned
              Larks and Snow Buntings foraging at a previous grain dump site in a field
              near Sherwood Forest.

              The Snowy Owls often seen in that area were not observed on Sunday. It was
              extremely windy though so they may have been perched somewhere on the ground
              in the surrounding fields.

              Good Birding
              Bob
            • Jared Clarke
              I also saw two Merlins yesterday. One was near Hillsdale and Kramer and the other was in Wascana Park. Jared ... Share your photos with the people who matter
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 7, 2006
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                I also saw two Merlins yesterday. One was near Hillsdale and Kramer and the other was in Wascana Park.

                Jared


                ---------------------------------
                Share your photos with the people who matter at Yahoo! Canada Photos

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              • Bob
                All I tend to support Martin s notion that cold and wet weather during the early part of their breeding season did impact nesting Merlins. There seems to me to
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 11, 2006
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                  All

                  I tend to support Martin's notion that cold and wet weather during the early
                  part of their breeding season did impact nesting Merlins.

                  There seems to me to be little reason why West Nile would be responsible
                  since that disease is more prevalent later rather than earlier in the
                  season. In other words, the mosquitoes associated with this occur later.

                  There is no obvious shortage of adult birds in this City.

                  Bob L
                  Regina
                • Greg
                  Yes the West Nile mosquitoes normally will be out in force in the coming weeks, the ones right now are nuisance ones. One further note is that the adults were
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 11, 2006
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                    Yes the West Nile mosquitoes normally will be out in force in the
                    coming weeks, the ones right now are nuisance ones. One further note
                    is that the adults were actively feeding young, how many is unknown.



                    ot--- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, Bob <tsb2001@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > All
                    >
                    > I tend to support Martin's notion that cold and wet weather during
                    the early
                    > part of their breeding season did impact nesting Merlins.
                    >
                    > There seems to me to be little reason why West Nile would be
                    responsible
                    > since that disease is more prevalent later rather than earlier in
                    the
                    > season. In other words, the mosquitoes associated with this occur
                    later.
                    >
                    > There is no obvious shortage of adult birds in this City.
                    >
                    > Bob L
                    > Regina
                    >
                  • Dan
                    ... the early ... responsible ... I guess you can t help me then. There was no cool wet weather here in the early Merlin breeding season i.e. May. And, there
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 11, 2006
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                      --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, Bob <tsb2001@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > All
                      >
                      > I tend to support Martin's notion that cold and wet weather during
                      the early
                      > part of their breeding season did impact nesting Merlins.
                      >
                      > There seems to me to be little reason why West Nile would be
                      responsible
                      > since that disease is more prevalent later rather than earlier in the
                      > season. In other words, the mosquitoes associated with this occur later.
                      >
                      > There is no obvious shortage of adult birds in this City.
                      >
                      I guess you can't help me then. There was no cool wet weather here in
                      the early Merlin breeding season i.e. May. And, there is an obvious
                      shortage of adult Merlins here.

                      Dan Zazelenchuk
                      Matador, Sask.
                      > Regina
                      >
                    • Bailey and Bjorklund
                      I have had the good fortunate of observing a Ferruginous Hawk nest for fun and profit for three years running. A quarter of a mile due south from this nest is
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 12, 2006
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                        I have had the good fortunate of observing a Ferruginous Hawk nest for fun and profit for three years running.

                        A quarter of a mile due south from this nest is a Swainson's Hawk nest site. A half mile northwest of the FEHA site is another SWHA nest site. While it is not open warfare between the three families, they do keep their distance when sailing away looking for a fee.

                        Three years ago, it rained for two days at the end of May all day long. The FEHA could not get up and hunt. Their chicks were just covered in down. No feathers. Down absorbs rain, feathers repel moisture. Hungry wet chicks is not what Dr. Spock recommends in baby care.

                        The nest failed. The SWHA who start nesting in June fledged their chicks. June and July were dry that year.

                        Last year all three nests were successful.

                        This year it did not rain in May in the study area and at the beginning of the Ferruginous nesting season. The FEHA site has fledged three juveniles at the end of June. On the other hand, one of the two SWHA sites never got started. The pair at that site are spending the summer hanging around together on power poles and hay bales. The other site is working out. The heavy June rains does not seem to have affected its success.

                        Yesterday, July 11, the male at the succeeding SWHA site was have a rip roaring time. It was following a farmer summer fallowing. The male was gathering up mice that were popping up behind the cultivator blades and taking them back to the nest. But over the hill, and what would be the farmer's work for today, was a field of alfalfa prime for haying.

                        In that field singing beautifully was a stunning Dicksisel on an unwanted stalk of dock. Beneath and nearby, I suspect, was the female on a nest hidden in the alfalfa.

                        Martin

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                      • Val T
                        There were three Merlins screeching around the cemetery in Weyburn today and two American Crows. We re looking after our farm neighbour s house and it s always
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 26, 2010
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                          There were three Merlins screeching around the cemetery in Weyburn today and two American Crows. We're looking after our farm neighbour's house and it's always a pleasant surprise to drive up to her yard. Today there were 20 American Crows flying by, 16 Sharp-Tailed Grouse, two Canada Geese and a still-white Jack Rabbit. The 12 cats are always glad to see us drive in with food. There was a pair of White-winged Crossbills there two weeks ago. We had four Black-billed Magpies here today plus some Rock Pigeons and House Sparrows...not too exciting.

                          Since our daughter is around for a couple of days with her three dogs and able to look after our pets as well Doyle and I have decided to drive to Swift Current and back tomorrow just to have a birding drive, look around S C for old-times sake (my mom grew up there and I spent many holidays with grandparents in the area) plus take some genealogy keepsake photos of residences. Am looking forward to our first longer bird outing this year.

                          Val T - McTaggart
                        • Ralph Goff
                          The young sparrow hawks (Merlins) are on video at youtube now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34aNMXZw-eQ&feature=youtu.be Ralph at Lipton [Non-text portions
                          Message 12 of 18 , Aug 13, 2012
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                            The young sparrow hawks (Merlins) are on video at youtube now.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34aNMXZw-eQ&feature=youtu.be

                            Ralph at Lipton


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