Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 22:39   #1
merryslug
Registered User
 
merryslug's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lake Worth
Posts: 592
General question about Merlins vs Peregrines

I identified a bird today to a coworker as probably a Merlin, and was promptly laughed at by another who said that "Merlin" was old-school terminology for Peregrine Falcons - that they were the same bird.

This didn't sound right to me but as this person could be described as NEVER WRONG (at least in his mind), I shut up and went home to do some research.

From what I've gathered, Merlins are smaller 'cousins' of Peregrines - closely related and even able to hybridize (Perlin anyone?) - but a separate species.

Before I challenge Sir Never Wrong, I'd love some input from other birders. Was there a time when these two were lumped together, but then later de-lumped? Are they considered interchangeable in some conditions?

Thanks in advance for any input!


merryslug is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 22:41   #2
The sniper
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Upminster
Posts: 1,598
Different birds,merlins are smaller,relatives but never classed as the same
They can hybridise though,a local chap I know has a perlin
Tell your co worker he is wrong.
The sniper is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 22:43   #3
Hotspur
James Spencer
 
Hotspur's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Nafferton, East Yorkshire
Posts: 6,262
Blog Entries: 19
Completely different species. Both falcons but Merlins are tundra and moorland nesters where as Peregrines are cliff nesters. Very different niches. Perlins only occur in captivity.
__________________
Idiocy Birding
Tophill Low Ringing
My Flickr
Last Yorks: Crag Martin (301)
Hotspur is online now  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2010
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Wednesday 28th November 2012, 23:45   #4
Valéry Schollaert
East Africa is the bird paradise!
 
Valéry Schollaert's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kasese, Uganda
Posts: 3,894
Merryslug,

Merlins and Peregrine both belong to Falcon (Falconidae) family, together with kestrels, hobbies and other falcons.

All European falcons belong to the same genus (Falco), but they are divided in subgenera. All kestrels are Tinnunculus, Hobbies are Falco and Lanner, Saker and Gyr Falcons are Hierofalco.

Merlin is alone in its subsgenus aesalon and Peregrine is a Rhynchodon with other Peregrine-like species such Barbary Falcon.

So we can say, except that they are both falcons, they don't have any special relationship... and definitely different stuff!


Quote:
Tell your co worker he is wrong.
Yes! Nobody's never wrong!
__________________
Valéry Schollaert
Last Lifer: KARAMOJA APALIS. African list now 2027. Pictures of birds and mammals of Uganda here.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wildl...251989?fref=ts
Valéry Schollaert is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 00:07   #5
Parula6
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 395
Back in the dark ages when I was a sprat, in the US Peregrines were often called Duck Hawks, Merlins Pigeon Hawks and Kestrels Sparrow Hawks. Maybe your friend's memory was fuzzy and he was dimly and erroneously remembering that the names had changed.
Parula6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 01:09   #6
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Posts: 14,915
Refer to the two opus pages for these two species:
http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Merlin
http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Peregrine_Falcon

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: SCSCB
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 10:53   #7
merryslug
Registered User
 
merryslug's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lake Worth
Posts: 592
Thanks everyone. I was sure I was right, but then so was he :).
merryslug is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 13:48   #8
DavidNB
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tenby
Posts: 142
If he's that confident get at least a bottle of something on it.

David
DavidNB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 29th November 2012, 22:22   #9
stevethehydra
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 440
Wow, I had no idea that Peregrine and Merlin could be induced to hybridise! Are there any pics of a "Perlin" out there? And which way round do they do it? I imagine either way there must be a high fatality rate on the Merlin side... :o (unless they do it by artificial insemination...)
stevethehydra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 30th November 2012, 09:06   #10
dud1z
Rye H

 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethehydra View Post
Wow, I had no idea that Peregrine and Merlin could be induced to hybridise! Are there any pics of a "Perlin" out there? And which way round do they do it? I imagine either way there must be a high fatality rate on the Merlin side... :o (unless they do it by artificial insemination...)
Steve, in captivity the majority of major falcon species are bred into hybrid's. Falconers use hybrid falcon's to get the best from each species, the game of a Saker, the speed of a Peregrine & the size & power of a Gyr. I suggest having a read through on falconryforum.co.uk if you have an hour to burn.
dud1z is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 30th November 2012, 12:37   #11
rosbifs
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Luz St Sauveur, France
Posts: 1,901
i hope for her sake its a merlin male....
rosbifs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 30th November 2012, 13:32   #12
stevethehydra
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 440
I had a bit of a google, seems they do generally do it by AI, and "Perlins" are infertile (unlike hybrids between some of the larger falcon species, eg. Lanner and Saker). They look very odd... rather like a Merlin that has been vertically stretched!

Also I found a mention (but as yet no photo) of the even more unbelievable sounding Gyrfalcon x Merlin! :o
stevethehydra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
General Question glazzers Birds & Birding 3 Monday 29th March 2010 14:44
General Question zawaprz Binoculars 4 Wednesday 25th June 2008 15:49
General Migration Question Roger P Migration 4 Monday 14th April 2008 15:30
Peregrines and Merlins in the Ribble Valley david kelly Birds Of Prey 1 Thursday 18th November 2004 19:10
General Scope Question birdman Spotting Scopes & tripod/heads 23 Tuesday 10th August 2004 20:45

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

Page generated in 0.17352700 seconds with 21 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 06:30.