|File:Critter Merlin Hawk.jpg|
|Picture from Paranormal Animals of Europe|
The Merlin Hawk (Falco velox) is the Awakened cousin of the common merlin (Falco columbarius). A medium-sized member of the hawk family, it is approximately half a meter in length and weighs 4 kilograms. Males and females have different coloration, with males sporting blue-gray back feathers and females having brown back feathers, with both sexes having reddish-brown feathers on the ventral surfaces. The males change coloration during the spring, with red or white chest feathering.
Like a typical hawk, the merlin hawk is a carnivorous diurnal predator, hunting small rodents and birds. They are fiercely territorial, and often chase other birds of prey away from its territory. Males and females live as mated pairs from spring to the beginning of winter, when most merlin hawks migrate south for the winter. During the beginning of the spring season, males comepete with complex aerial dances to attract females and resolve territorial disputes. Although they defend their territory, they do not use their magical powers unless provoked.
The merlin hawk is magically active, and can use various detection, illusion, and manipulation spells. They also have been known to summon spirits of air. In addition, merlin hawks have magical resistance and the ability to control other non-Awakened hawks. This magical activity has caused some to believe that the merlin hawk is sentient, since it takes a threshold of intelligence to use magic to this degree. The merlin hawk is particularly vulnerable to willow wood and poisons.