Even though the first use of “Merlin” is in Croatian, it is still called as the first result for the name when the site is set to English. This is not the only time I have seen a secondary or tertiary name from another lexicon become prioritized over the main common name of another species in English. This seems like a bug to me.
I can duplicate, but only in the search bar at the top of iNat (which does seem to ignore language settings). The search bars for Explore, Identify, and entering an identification do behave as expected for me, showing F. columbarius first.
I think it was reported for years and it’s not a bug, but how system works as of now. It doesn’t care what language you have set, it’s readily will show you random names/taxa as first because there’s some code that consists of those letters, I’m also very tired of getting Cirsium as first (!) result when searching for осот, because Ukrainian use it, it’s like it wants you to click on it. @cthawley it’s the same everywhere.
The site handles it correctly in the sense that “top” names are correctly shown as prioritized on taxon pages, life lists, species pages, and in IDs. This shows me the site is intentionally focusing on the correct name to display over others, and it’s also the reason why the names have layered priorities to decide this. The search not returning this in the same manner is evidently not intentional and either a bug or an oversight.
None of those work the same way as the name lookup for identifications. Those all have a taxon ID already and they check your account settings for how to display the name that goes with the taxon ID. When you’re trying to identify something, it doesn’t already know which taxon you want.