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Merlin In the Sandhills

Hi - for the 6th year in a row a Merlin is present at the Boyd Tract of
Weymouth Woods SNP. This bird perches in the tops of dead longleaf snags
mainly early in the am and appears to come back to roost here around
dusk. During the day it apparently hunts the relatively open "horse
country" north and east of the preserve.

It is a female or first year bird - dark chocolate brown on back. Each
year in November I have seen a Merlin at this spot and its been a female
or first year bird. If its the same bird then it'd be a female. I have
mixed feelings about its choice of perching. It's in the middle of an
active red-cockaded woodpecker cluster!

Scott Hartley
Weymouth Woods SNP
Southern Pines, NC