Last week, I asked for help in identifying a small falcon photographed by the Raptor Resource Project in Decorah, Iowa. Thanks to everyone who said it's a merlin.

Chance viewings of this bird on its migratory travels through the Midwest including Wisconsin causes excitment in birding circles because they are rare. (Check out the Madison Audubon's observation). The merlin’s range in North America is widespread, but it is not considered common anywhere.

Merlins are also found in Europe, where they were popular falconry birds in medieval times among noble women. Thanks to birding experts providing this information.

Glen Loyd lives on the Rock River in Janesville 15 days a month. He is a former public information officer for Wisconsin Consumer Protection, publishes a weekly consumer protection blog. Glen is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.

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