What are the physical characteristics of the merlin?
Falco Columbarius is more commonly known as The Merlin or a Pigeon Hawk. The Merlin has a lengthy square shaped tail and widespread wings that range between 50-62 cm in length. Merlin’s range between 25-30cm in length, and are similarly sized to sparrowhawks. When seen on the ground they often appear crouched and arched over giving the appearance of no neck. Male merlins have light grey-blue colored underwings, and their upper wings are dark grey with black streaks in the feathers. Their chests are reddish brown with darker brown flecks all over. They have grey cheeks, a white throat, and dark marks under the eyes, as seen in figure 2. Female Merlins are mostly grey-brown. On their dark brown upper wings, they have black streaks in their feathers, and the chest also has dark brown flecks as the males do. Young Merlins look similar to females however adolescent Merlin have extended flight feathers so they can practice their technique without extra weight. Male and females have the same black hooked beak, and yellow legs and their tails are black banded. Merlins are subject to sexual dimorphism, with females being slightly larger than males. Males weigh between 125-234g and females weigh between 164-300g.