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.