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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

2 dead Merlins. What killed them??? (1 Viewer)

WhiteLakeDan

New member
Canada
We had at least 4 Merlins living in our immediate area this summer (a first in 15 years). We have massive pine tress right by our house and two of those Merlins were found dead at the foot of one tree. They were both recently killed and found within a foot of each other. Both had been killed within the past few days and both layed at the very base of the pine tree. They appeared to have been adults. I can see one being killed but 2 within inches of each other? I am not much of a birder so I am very puzzled as to why I'd find 2 dead and exactly what would have killed them? Any idea what killed them and why?
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
If poisoning or other unnatural causes can be ruled out, it might be predation. Being relatively small, Merlins have several potential predators, particularly when roosting or nesting. Do you have Great Horned Owls in the area?
 

WhiteLakeDan

New member
Canada
Poisoning? Possibly but I cannot see who/what would poison two Merlins. (I live in the country with very few neighbours but I can see that in a large city, maybe?). Yes, there are Great Horned Owls in the area, so I'm told, but I have never seen one myself. I was suspecting an owl but could that explain the 2 deaths side by side?
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Hello Dan and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum.

I'm so sorry to hear this about the Merlins and I am curious at the fact that they seemed to have dropped straight down.
Is it possible that both were shot? I would call your local humane care center and ask if you can bring them in for examination and it would be very much appreciated if you could let us know.
 

WhiteLakeDan

New member
Canada
Thanks for the warm welcome. Glad to be here. No, there is zero chance these two Merlins have been shot. I have disposed of them since finding them and there were no signs of gunshot wounds. Besides, there is just no way anyone could have shot them given where we live (in the "boonies"). I am still very puzzled by my macabre finding, though. Cheers!
 

Torchepot

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Were they found at the same time? Not exactly sure whether they were found together or whether there was some interval between the discoveries. Was there any sign of harm or damage?
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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