For the past couple of months now, we've had an over-wintering Merlin hanging around our neighborhood .
At times this can be a little frustrating, as she keeps many of the feeder birds from showing up in the yard, as they are too afraid to be exposed on a feeding platform where they could fall victim to the hungry little falcon.
In the Spring I intend to make some more sheltered spots in my new yard so there are plenty of places for the timid smaller birds to hide.
That being said, Merlins are still a fantastic bird, and many people would be happy just to see one during the cold winter months.
The one we have here will be pairing up with a mate soon, and will no doubt nest in the area.
On days where the Merlin has been looking elsewhere for food, I have had a few visits from some nice birds, for instance last week where the following few species made an appearance ...
Common Redpoll ( Male - note, the male has the pinkish wash on his breast)
Common Redpoll (female)