THANKS!!  This is my fifth year of monitoring Merlin nest success.  THANKS!! to 
the directions and assistance provided by many, I have been able to monitor 
over 30 nests, including 7 this year. Most of the nests I have monitored were 
originally discovered by others. I am so very grateful for so many reports.

This year two nests have been predated (so far), three have fledged, and two 
still have nestlings. This is, so far, a good year for nesting success

I never share the location of a nest that is early in the nesting cycle. I 
never share the location of a nest that can only be seen from private property, 
or a nest where the parents seem upset by human activity. There is one nest 
this year that I feel I can share without any danger of birding visitors 
jeopardizing the nest.

There is a nest in a tall spruce between GIAC and the public swimming pool. In 
fact the spruce tree is inside the chain link fence surrounding the pool area. 
During the school year and now that the pool is open (after 12:00) there is an 
extremely high level of noisy human activity around the nest site. The addition 
of any quiet birders outsider the chain link fence, in comparison to kids 
leaving the school or playing in the pool, would make no difference to the 
Merlins. The male and female seem virtually oblivious to extreme activity. If 
the nest continues successfully, the young should fledge around the weekend of 
the 20th. For a few days before fledging, the young hop out limbs, exercise 
their wings, and generally look very comical. The nest can best be seen from 
outside the northwest corner of the chain link fence around the swimming pool. 
I have spoken to the lifeguards and some of them know that people with optical 
equipment are likely birders. But you may enjoy watching the birds before all 
hell breaks loose in the swimming pool at 12:00.

John Confer


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