On November 28, 2007 a local lawyer found a dead female Merlin in downtown Rockford. He turned it over to Dan and I. The bird appears to have crashed into a window and died from the impact. I have prepared it as a study skin and it will soon join the Burpee Museum’s collection. While skinning it I examined the gizzard contents and found a lot of matted feathers, small bird bones and two pairs of songbird feet that had not yet been digested. I’ve compared the feet to specimens in the Burpee collection and they are a perfect match with the feet of a White-throated Sparrow and a Redpoll (presumably a Common Redpoll). Was anyone aware of Redpolls in this area in Late Nov? Sometimes there is interesting detail on bird biology to be found by examining stomach contents!

Barbara