Semi-open areas. Taiga merlins nest near forest openings, in fragmented woodlots, open woodlands, and often near rivers, lakes, or bogs. Often use old black-billed magpie nests. Also, use squirrel nests, ledges, parasitic growths on spruce trees, and in ground nests. Black merlins nest along rivers and coastal areas, and possibly near alpine meadows. Associated with northwestern crows. Edges of forest habitat adjoining open areas, such as muskegs, ponds, lakes, ocean may be suitable. In the Yukon, frequents open riparian and alpine areas (Alexander et al. 2003).
Alexander, S. A., F. I. Doyle, C. D. Ecker, H. Grünberg, N. L. Hughes, M. Jensen, I. Johnson, D. H. Mossop, W. A. Nixon, and P. H. Sinclair. 2003. Birds of the Yukon Territory (P. H. Sinclair, W. A. Nixon, C. D. Eckert, and N. L. Hughes, eds.). UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.