768. Falco Aesalon

768. Merlin.
FALCO AESALON.
Falco oesalon, Tunstall, Orn. Brit. p. i. (1771) ; Naum. i. p. 303, Taf. 27 ; Hewitson, i. p. 30, pl. x. fig. 1; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 24 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 19 ; Newton, i. p. 74 ; Dresser, vi. p. 83, pls. 380, 381 ; (Tacz.), F. O. Sib. O. p. 87 ; Saunders, p. 351 ; Lilford, i. p. 50, pls. 24, 25 ; F. regulus, Pall. Reise, ii. Anhang, p. 707 (1773) ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 34 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 406 ; (Blanf.), F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 426 ; F. litho-falco ; Gmel. Syst. Nat. i. p. 278 (1788).
Faucon Emerillon, French ; Esmerejon, Span, ; Smeriglio, Ital. ; Zwergfalke, Germ. ; Smelleken, Dutch ; Steenfalk, Dvoergfalk, Dan. and Norweg. ; Dvergfalk, Swed. ; Pikkuhaukka, Poutahaukka, Finn. ; Cicasfalli, Lapp. ; Derbnic, Russ. ; Juju, Arab. ; Dourai female, Dourela male, Hindu. ; Kocho-genbo, Jap.
Male ad. (Scotland). Crown and upper parts clear slate-blue, with blackish shaft lines ; a collar and sides of neck pale rufous, with dark lines ; quills blackish, with white bars on the inner web ; tail paler than the back, with a broad subterminal black band, and with indistinct basal bars ; sides of head dull white, with fine blackish stripes ; chin and upper throat white ; rest of under parts white, washed with rufous and striped with blackish brown, the thigh-feathers more rufous ; bill bluish horn, darker at the tip ; legs and cere yellow ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.7, wing 7.9, tail 5.3, tarsus 1.45 inch. Female larger and differing in having the upper parts dark brown, with a greyish tinge, with black shaft-stripes, edged and spotted with reddish brown ; tail dark brown, with rufous buff bands and tipped with buffy white ; chin and upper throat white ; rest of under parts whitish, broadly striped with brown. The young resemble the female, but males are a little greyer on the tail and rump.
Hab. Europe generally, from Iceland and Northern Scandi┬Čnavia to Great Britain ; southern Europe and North Africa in winter, south to Nubia ; Asia east to Corea, north to Northern Siberia, south to Northern India, Mongolia, China and Japan in winter.
Frequents moors, rocks, and more open places than the Hobby, and is a bold and game bird, swift and active on the wing, preying chiefly on small birds and mammals, but it also feeds to some extent on insects. It generally nests on the ground, but in some countries sometimes makes use of the nest of some other bird in trees. When constructed by the bird itself the nest is flat and not large, built of sticks and heather. The eggs, from 4 to 6 in number, are dull brick-red closely spotted and mottled with dark brownish red, sometimes faintly tinted with purple, and in size average 1.55 by 1.21.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
768. Falco Aesalon
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
768
Year: 
1903
Page No: 
547
Common name: 
Merlin
M_ID: 
11321
M_SN: 
Falco columbarius aesalon
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
10543

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