Merlin

Phainopepla Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A slender, long-tailed songbird with a distinct crest.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Juniper Titmouse, smaller than a Northern Cardinal.

    Relative Sizebetween sparrow and robinbetween sparrow and robin
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 7.1-8.3 in (18-21 cm)
      • Weight: 0.6-1.0 oz (17.9-28.1 g)
      • Wingspan: 10.6-11.4 in (27-29 cm)

Regional Differences

Two subspecies have been described, the smaller lepida and the larger nitens. Both can be found in the United States, but they can only be distinguished by measurements of the wing and tail.