This Merlin was hit by a car in Monkton, VT and suffered a broken wrist in September of 2019. After healing up with a local rehabilitator, he was sent to the Museum to overwinter and will be evaluated for release in the spring. Of course we hope that he will be able to return to the wild, but Merlins are aerial hunters and need perfect flight if they are to survive. In the mean time, he will serve as an education bird and ideally will be trained for free-flight demonstrations as a means of keeping in shape and building his flight abilities.
Merlins are exciting falcons with different subspecies found around the world. They are pursuit hunters who will chase down other birds in the air with enough aerobatic skill to snatch dragonflies! Our northeastern version has been expanding it's range southward since the 1980s and can now be found nesting in central New England even though many guidebooks still mark their range as ending on the northern borders of NY, NH, ME, and VT.