hugh's picture

Is this a merlin?

Observed: 5th April 2012 By: hughhugh’s reputation in Birds

This unusual bird was sighted in our garden earlier. It's about the size of a pigeon. We think that it is a merlin but can anyone confirm this?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) interacts


Syrphus's picture

You would be very unlikely to

You would be very unlikely to see a Merlin in your garden like this - they are birds of open country. Also, like all falcons, they have a dark eye, not the yellow iris of this bird. Any small bird of prey in Britain showing a yellow iris is overwhelmingly likely to be a Sparrowhawk.



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hugh's picture

Thanks, I agree. It was

Thanks, I agree. It was probably sitting there waiting for a blue tit to come out of the nearby hedge.


Wise Old Owl's picture


I think it's a sparrowhawk. I've just looked it up in a bird identification book and the merlin has got a big dark pupil that sticks out a lot. This one, like a sparrowhawk, has a yellow iris and a smaller pupil.

From the wise old owl!