Merlin 10-24-13

Merlin - Falco Columbarius

Merlin – Falco Columbarius

Winter birds continue to arrive.  This beautiful Merlin – the “Pigeon Hawk”  – showed up today in the  border between the residential area and the old ag fields.  Philip Unitt, in the standard reference work “The Birds of San Diego County”  (1984)  states that Merlins are rare visitors to the County and are usually seen along the coast.  As of 1984 there was only one record for this bird in the Anza-Borrego desert.

This falcon is small, about the size of a pigeon- from which the old name of pigeon hawk derives.  They are incredible fliers, capable of amazing high-speed acrobatics.

 

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Another winter resident, the red-breasted sapsucker, a large woodpecker.

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Here we have a late migrant or wintering warbler.