Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: Falco columbarius
The Merlin (falco columbarius) is a small falcon found in North America and in Eurasia.

It has narrow, pointed wings and quite short tail. It is slightly smaller than a kestrel. The male has gray-silver upperparts, creamy-white and dark-streaked underparts and underwings, black tail and primary remiges, a narrow moustache and yellow beak and feet. The beak has black tip. The female is similar, but is bigger and has brown-gray upperparts. The chicks are covered with a white fluffy down. Merlins do not make nests; like the other falcons, they use abandoned nests. The merlin lives in rocky areas and moorlands, hunting small birds. The male catches mainly passerines, but the female can catch bigger birds, like pigeons or quails.

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