Northern Harrier - Circus hudsonius

Length 1.3-1.7 ft (40.6-50.8 cm)
Wingspan 3.2-4.0 ft (96.5-121.9 cm)
Weight 10.2-26.5 oz (290-750 g)
Clutch Size 3-6
Chicks at birth Altricial
IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern
Continents:NA, SA

The Northern Harrier is the only harrier found in North America and is also known as the Marsh Hawk. It used to be considered a subspecies of the Hen Harrier, Circus cyaneus, which is found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. DNA sequencing has placed the Northern Harrier as a distinct species, but there is still some disagreement on this.

The female and male Northern Harriers have different plumage. The male is white and gray, the female brown. A great field marker is the white rump which is obvious in flight. Besides using their eye sight to locate prey, Northern Harriers use their sense of hearing. Their owl-like facial disk aids this.

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