Falco columbarius columbarius
File:Merlin.jpg Merlin (Falco columbarius) is a falcon that breeds in northern North America, Europe and Asia.
In North America it was once known as the pigeon hawk, and its scientific name (from Latin columba, a dove) also refers to this popular prey item. However, the merlin is a falcon, not a hawk, so the old American name is to be avoided.
This small bird of prey breeds in open country such as moorland, taiga or willow or birch scrub. Like the larger Peregrine falcon it will migrate to more temperate regions in winter in southern Europe and North Africa or from the southern USA to northern South America. In winter it may be found in almost any open country, from coasts to prairies to desert scrub. In the mildest parts of its breeding range, such as Great Britain, it will desert higher ground and move to coasts and lowland.
In Europe, Merlins will roost communally in winter, often with Hen Harriers. In North America, communal roosting is rare, and Merlins are well known for attacking any birds of prey that they encounter, even eagles.
The male has a blue-grey back and orange-tinted underparts. The female and immature are dark brown above and whitish spotted with brown below. American subspecies range from pale (Great Plains) to nearly black (Pacific Northwest). This species' small size, darker underparts, and less strongly marked face distinguish it from the Peregrine falcon.
Merlins rely on speed and agility to hunt their prey, which is mainly small birds such as larks and pipits and also large insects. They often hunt by flying fast and low, typically less than 1 metre above the ground, trying to take prey by surprise.
In medieval Europe, merlins were popular in falconry.
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Animal in Armenia
Սովորական աղավնաբազե (“Sovorakan aghavnabaze”)
Rare and disappearing species.
Habitat in Armenia
Number in the wild
Not more than several dozens of species.
Reasons for decrease in number
No competent data.
Number in captivity
Measures of protection taken
Aside from other activities, hunting is forbidden in the territory of Armenia.