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Falco columbarius

Map of the common names


Small bird of prey (L 30 cm), difficult to identify. Wings short and broad at base, though tail long and conspicuosly square-ended. The Merlin is found mainly in open habitats where it can easily locate prey, mainly small birds. North populations are migrants and those from the south residents.

Watercolour by Serge Nicolle

Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I

The main threats to this species are loss of habitats, contamination of birds with organochlorines from agriculture, human disturbance and nest-robbing by falconers.

Distribution map

yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor

Population : about 10,000 pairs

Drawing by Manuel Manolos

back to list of threatened species