A Merlin on the steeple of the Congregational Church of Middlebury

The other day I was walking down Main St. in Middblebury when I happened to look up at the beautiful steeple of the Congregational Church and noticed a Perregrine Falcon perched on it. This did not surprise me since this has been a popular post-breeding season hunting spot for Peregrines. In August of 2008 a Peregrine spent a several weeks at this location, and this spot has also been used by Merlins as well. They must choose this steeple because it gives these bird-hunting raptors a great overview of  the Pigeon, Starling and House Sparrow populated rooftops of the village. As I watched this bird, it did sally once from its perch towards the Battell Block, causing a flurry of panicked Pigeons before returning to the steeple empty-handed. In the past, when one of these birds has used this perch, they have had a tendency to become attached to it and reuse it regularly. So if you happen to be in downtown Middlebury, it might be worth your while to take a look to see if the Peregrine is there.

– Ron Payne

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