The Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds—Merlin (Falco columbarius)

Professional Paper 1842-R
By: , and 



The key to Merlin (Falco columbarius) management is maintaining an interspersion of groves of deciduous or coniferous trees for nesting and open grasslands for hunting. Merlins do not build their own nests but rather use former nests of other bird species, including those of corvids (crows, ravens, and magpies) and accipitrids (hawks). In recent decades, Merlins have established breeding populations in urban and residential areas in the northern Great Plains.

Suggested Citation

Konrad, P.M., Shaffer, J.A., and Igl, L.D., 2020, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Merlin (Falco columbarius), chap. R of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 21 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Capsule Statement
  • Breeding Range
  • Suitable Habitat
  • Prey Habitat
  • Area Requirements and Landscape Associations
  • Brood Parasitism by Cowbirds and Other Species
  • Breeding-Season Phenology and Site Fidelity
  • Species’ Response to Management
  • Management Recommendations from the Literature
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Merlin (Falco columbarius)
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1842
Chapter R
DOI 10.3133/pp1842R
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description iv, 12 p.
Other Geospatial North America
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details