Bird watch: What to look for this time of year
BY DAN REINKING
Sunday, December 02, 2012
12/02/12 at 7:39 AM
Small and fast are two words often used to describe the merlin.
The second smallest of North America's falcons, merlins winter broadly across many of the lower 48 states.
Merlins typically watch for a small bird from a perch, and then pursue it in a high-speed chase and attempt to make a midair capture.
Despite its speed, life as a predator is difficult and such pursuits demand a lot of time and energy. One study reported capture success rates of only 5 to 22 percent for chases made during migration and winter.
This week in eastern Oklahoma
Original Print Headline: Bird Watch
Dan Reinking is a senior biologist at the Sutton Avian Research Center in Bartlesville. Contact him at email@example.com or see tulsaworld.com/suttoncenter.
The Bird Watch list is excerpted from the Date Guide to the Occurrences of Birds in Oklahoma, which lists normal dates of occurrences for bird species by seven geographic regions of the state. It is a publication of the Oklahoma Bird Records Committee of the Oklahoma Ornithological Society. For full information about the guide and how to report unusual bird sightings at unusual times of year go to tulsaworld.com/okbirds.
A Merlin perches on a high branch. STEVE METZ/Courtesy