Date: 8/30/17 9:45 am From: Kim McCormick <kim.mccormick...> Subject: [Tweeters] re: (Banded) Merlin in Magnolia/ request for Merlin sightings
Good Morning, Tweets!
The Merlin sighted by Rachel Lawson near Discovery Park was most-likely banded by Ben Vang-Johnson and I as part of our study of the greater Seattle area Merlin population (see: http://wos.org/research/). We are in the fifth year of our investigation of Merlin nest site characteristics, nesting success and density, site and pair fidelity, and annual movements.
Juveniles from this year's breeding season have dispersed from their nest sites. One of the objectives of our study is to learn more about their dispersal patterns (i.e. direction and distance traveled). Band re-sightings are integral to the success of our work.
In order to track individual Merlin movements and relationships, we band Merlins with blue or red color bands. These banded Merlins will also have a silver Federal band on the opposite leg. Each color band has a two-character code that identifies the Merlin. Blue bands use two letters, stacked one on top of the other, read top to bottom. Red bands use two numbers, side-by-side, read left to right. These bands can be read with a spotting scope.
If you happen to be watching a Merlin through your scope, take a look at its legs when it stretches or moves around and you might see a color band. We'd love to hear about any banded Merlin sightings. If you are able to read the band's code, we will be happy to share what we know about the bird's life history. We would also appreciate hearing about Merlin breeding activity observed this Spring and Summer (potential or confirmed), as these tips could lead to the identification of additional breeding territories within our study area.
We are in the process of analyzing this breeding season's data, and will post a project update soon.