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Greetings,

This afternoon (7/10/11) I observed two Merlins at Oakledge Park in  
Burlington.  One of the Merlins was doing noisy flight displays around  
a pine tree, giving its high-pitched "klee-klee-klee-klee..." call.   
It then landed on a bare branch in the pine where a second Merlin was  
perched.  The first Merlin appeared to transfer food to the second  
one.  This happened three times over the course of 30 min or so.  I  
presume the second Merlin was a fledgling and that successful breeding  
occurred nearby.  Alternatively the second one was a female receiving  
ritualistic food offerings from a male.  Either way, Merlin nesting  
activity in the area appears certain.

Location:  Go to the south parking area in Oakledge Park.  There is  
big picnic pavilion on the hill.  The pine tree with the exposed  
branch is just a few yards NW of the picnic pavilion, across the bike  
path.  At least one Merlin was swooping back and forth across the  
grassy area between the pavilion and the bike path.  Another vantage  
point is to continue a few more yards down the bike path to the  
swimming cove and look back up the hill at the pine.  There is an $8  
entry fee ($6 for Burlington residents) to drive into the park.   
Alternatively you can park outside the park and walk in maybe 0.1  
mile. Or aproach on foot or bike along the Burlington bike path.

Scott Morrical
<[log in to unmask]>
South Burlington