{Zenosyne} The Merlins

We've had two little merlin falcons living with us over the winter. They've been taking out as many of those little barn sparrows (I'm not sure if that's what they are - they're tiny and they eat all the poultry feed) as they can get a hold of. Because they're about the same size as Memnoch, maybe, they don't bother with the chickens. I think they would definitely go for Sparta or Mina if they had the chance, but, so far, they're just picking off the sparrows.

And then one day, while I had the chickens and peafowl out free ranging so I could do fill waterers, one of the merlins flew into the aviary and couldn't figure out how to get back out.

I tried to shoo it back towards the opening, but by then all the roosters were sending out the predator call and all the peafowl were trying to rush back into the aviary to get whatever the intruder was. So, with both Memnoch and Damien trying really hard to help me out, I was finally able to get my hoody over this little dude and carry him out of the aviary. I was surprised how calm he was under those circumstances, but I didn't want to push my luck by trying to take pictures of him in my hands. That's one thing I learned pretty early on with birds is that stress is a literal killer. So, as soon as I got out of the aviary, I unwrapped my merlin burrito and he flew off.

Both are still hanging out with us, leaving crime scene evidence of their presence every so often.

Having that merlin in my hands and him just staring at me with those huge yellow eyes, not biting at me or clawing at me, really brought back that urge in me to find a falconer to apprentice with. The bad thing about this is that, the manager that harassed me out of my job is the manager of the special licensing person for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and special licensing is the only way to legal become a falconer in Colorado. The up side is that I still have some people at CPW that didn't believe the slander and still know I'm a good person. They can possibly find me people to talk to about apprenticing and, if the former coworker who was running special licensing when I left is still there, I at least know that I can get a fair shake from him.