Where did merlins originate from?
Merlins are thought to have originated in the Palearctic Zone. The division of the Falco genus was fast and intricate. The fossil record demonstrates that Merlins had traveled from the Palearctic realm to the Nearctic realm by the end of the Pleistocene era. There are many similarities between Palearctic Merlin and Prairie-parkland Merlin, but Merlin from the Taiga biome differ greatly. This is because of the glacial events that allowed gene flow between Prairie-parkland and Palearctic Merlin. A glacier joined Asia and Alaska together which subsequently allowed the distribution of Asian Merlin into North America. The merlin migrated southwards into Taiga as the glacier retreated. The second glacier connection allowed further merlin to migrate. There was few vegetation in East Asia and Alaska at this point, the Merlins adapted to this moved further south to be able to make use of the unused prairie-parkland niche. The first population of Merlin to migrate from Asia moved north with the expanding Taiga creating the Taiga and costal Sub Species, while the later migrants developed into the Prairie-parkland populations. There are three main subspecies in North America as the populations in each biome are distinct from each other.