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St. Paul, MN 55108


  Home > Educate and Learn > Meet Our Birds > Merlin: Taiga

Merlin: Taiga

Ed Bird Taiga Quick Facts:
  • Hatch year 2000
  • Female
  • Weight: 7 oz.
  • Found in Mankato, Minn.
  • Hit unknown object
  • Un-releasable due to spinal trauma and weak grasping
  • Flighted

Taiga’s story:

The Taiga (Falco columbarius) subspecies of merlin spends the summer breeding in the boreal forests of Canada and far northeast corner of Minnesota. On December 27, 2001, Taiga was probably heading to the southern United States or possibly even Central or South America when she encountered a problem in Mankato, Minnesota. She was found downtown unable to stand or fly. The Raptor Center determined the bird had bruising on her back, shoulder, and chest, a large skin tear over her shoulder, and a small skin tear on her neck. Her skin tears were sutured and fluids were given to correct her dehydration. Due to a suspected spinal injury, the immediate course of action was cage rest. By May, her endurance had improved, but she was still landing without coordination. She had a tendency to turn in one direction only and her foot strength was weak. Her lack of gripping power meant she was unlikely to be a successful hunter in the wild.


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