During our four months in Maine, we have seen lots of American Kestrals. But we had yet to find a Merlin, which is a slightly larger member of the same family, Falcons. While hiking a trail at the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, we finally spotted this Merlin perched in some dead trees in the middle of a pond. Merlins are known for being "small, compact, powerful and very aggressive", and feed mainly on small birds taken in midair in rapid pursuit.
We found this bird no more than 200 yards from where we found the Northern Goshawk back in early July.