Jack is our Merlin Falcon. His full title is Captain 'Jack' Sparrow, but that's a lot to say when you are calling to him so we just call him Jack for short. In the wild, he would be fast enough to catch dragon flies, and this makes him amazing to watch in displays flying to a lure. Alex has been known to let him catch the lure after a few minutes because he feels sick because Jack has had him spinning around so much. This little guy has a flying weight of just 160g, less than a can of pop!
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MERLIN FALCON FACTS
Merlin's are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In North America they are found from eastern Canada and Alaska, south throughout Mexico. Merlin's spend the winter in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean Islands.
Merlin's inhabit fairly open country, such as willow or birch scrub, shrubland, but also taiga forest, parks, grassland such as steppe and prairies, or moorland, parks, and cemeteries. During migration Merlin's stop in grasslands, open forests, and coastal areas.
They are swift fliers and skilled hunters who specialize in preying on small birds in the size range of sparrows to qual. Common prey include Horned Lark, House Sparrow, Bohemian Waxwing, Dickcissel, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, and other shorebirds dragonflies, bats caught at cave openings, nestling birds, and small mammals.
Size/Weight 24–33 cm long with a 50–73 cm wingspan.
Compared with most other small falcons, it is more robust and heavily built.
Males average at about 165-230g.
Merlin's are increasingly breeding in towns and cities, where they often take over crow nests in conifers planted in residential areas, schoolyards, Breeding occurs typically in May/June. Laying 3-6 eggs. Sometimes first-year merlin's (especially males) will serve as a "nest helper" for an adult pair
7-8 years average age in the wild
11 years oldest recorded in the wild
15 years oldest recorded in captivity
The British Bird Of Prey Centre
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We have been closed since the end of March due to COVID-19. This is a very difficult time for us all. Although we will be reopening on 6th July we have lost most of the season and our visitor income from this period usually sees us through the winter. If you would like to support our Centre please make a donation here.