Date: 7/19/20 9:02 am From: Tom Schilke <tom.schilke...> Subject: [ia-bird] Waterloo merlin update
The merlin nest across the street form my house at 1432 Liberty Ave. has three mostly downy young as best that I can tell. The parents have been on guard and are quite vocal when feeding time is near or crows, vultures, etc. come too close. Viewers that have come to see the nest have been rewarded with views of the birds in usually short order, often seeing them on open favored branches plucking apart prey (house sparrows ) or standing watch.
Francis Moore reports the likelihood of another merlin nest on south Kimball in Waterloo by or in large ponderosa pines next to the Subway parking lot. Merlins have been seen in that spot multiple times and carrying food. Haven’t spotted the nest yet.
The merlins that nested in Waterloo in 2016 were fledged and flying about by July 12th. Here we are on July 19 and the young are just now beginning to get some feathers. Also in 2016 the merlins decapitated their prey. I have yet to find heads or see them rip a head off while feeding. From about 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. has been a pretty consistent time to watch them in good light.
Merlins have been spotted during the summer months each year since 2016, I think it is safe to assume that we have a continual breeding population, one that is perhaps expanding through the metro area.