Our pair of resident MERLINS in Rutland is busy setting up for this
year's breeding season. The male is putting on quite a noisy and
dramatic courtship display, and the female is (thankfully) being quite
receptive. After last year's successful hatch of 3 or 4, we're hoping
for a repeat performance.
Both birds are hunting very successfully, as the local small rodent,
starling, and sparrow populations could attest.
A wonderful little quirk to this pair is their accessibility. If
anyone is interested in viewing these beautiful little falcons, simply
come to Memorial Park in Rutland (that's the park that runs parallel to
Rte. 4/7 from Christ the King church and school up to the fire station
on Center Street). Their preferred perch is the large ash tree
overhanging the Marine Corps. Congressional Medal of Honor memorial
across from the fire station. My suspicion is that they will roost and
nest in the neighboring evergreens, but that remains to be seen...