Backyard Birds: Merlin nests in Lake Forest Park

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Story and photos by David Walton

We have at least six Merlin falcons in our Lake Forest Park neighborhood, likely in at least two nests.

They make a quite loud call that typically sounds constantly for several minutes at a time and can be heard city blocks away. 

They are quite the aerial predator, feeding mainly on birds captured in flight. These specific birds primarily have been in the tops of tall Douglas firs (making photography a challenge). 

These photos were taken early morning and late afternoon ('golden hour'), so that the light would highlight the birds from the side. 

Last year the Merlins stayed in the neighborhood until August, before migrating, so expecting similar this year.

The nests are between 32nd Ave NE and 33rd Ave NE, north of NE 160th St.


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