A Merlin is a medium sized bird of prey that is common to the forests and open fields throughout Europe. They are a year round resident in much of their habitat and can even be found in urban areas like parks and towns with tall buildings. They survive on a carnivorous diet, mostly composed of rodents such as mice, voles, and shrews when available. It is at times difficult to see this species when they are hunting because their coloration makes them well camouflaged against the ground cover which they blend into very well.
A Merlin has feathers that vary in color from light grey to dark bluish grey across their entire body except for the head area which is white with some streaking across it. The short wings have brownish black bands on them and the tail feathers are white with dark brown bands across them. Both sexes have yellowish feet, however, during mating season larger claws appear on males than females. Females can grow to be around thirty two inches long while males only grow up to about twenty seven inches long.