Raptor Population Index

Trend Graphs | Trend Maps | Methodology | Participating Sites | Species Assessments |

  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Swainson's Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Mississippi Kite
  • Plumbeous Kite

Species Assessment:
Merlin (Falco columbarius)

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The 10-year migration count trends for Merlin suggests mostly stable populations across North America with 80% of 64 total sites showing statistically significant stable counts during this span. Regionally, 22% of 9 count sites show declines with 11% showing increases in the West Region. In the Gulf Region, 50% of sites have reported an increase in observations (see pie charts and trend maps below). The 20-year count trends (not shown) reflect a mostly stable population with some notable increases in the West Region while some decreases were observed in other regions over this span (Central Region: 1 decrease, 1 stable; East Region: 17 stable, 3 increase, 1 decrease; Gulf Region: 2 stable, 1 increase, 1 decrease; West Region: 3 stable, 3 increase). Winter survey data from the Christmas Bird Count suggest increasing 10-year trends continent-wide with the annual percent change in population reported to be an increase of almost 3%. The Merlin is a species of least concern globally and has been observed to adapt well to human presence in both urban and suburban landscapes. Merlin are likely most affected by loss of suitable habitat due to deforestation and agricultural practices such as cutting and burning of vegetation in Photo by Bill Moses the Great Plains.

Merlin<br>Photo by Bill Moses

Photo by Bill Moses

Please cite this page as:
    D. Oleyar, D. Ethier, L. Goodrich, D. Brandes, R. Smith, J. Brown, and J. Sodergren. 2021. The Raptor Population Index: 2019 Analyses and Assessments.