Scientific name: Falco columbarius
Our most diminutive falcon, the merlin is a pretty bird of prey. It chases small birds, flying low to the ground or hovering in the breeze because of its small size. Resident merlins are joined in winter by Icelandic migrants.
Average lifespan: 3 years
Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.