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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)




Northern Harrier | Circus cyaneus photo
Northern Harrier (Female), Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, California

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern Harrier | Circus cyaneus photo
Northern Harrier (Juvenile), Serpentine Wildlife Area, Surrey, British Columbia

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

NORTHERN HARRIER FACTS

Description
The Northern Harrier is a medium-sized hawk with long tail and slender, rounded wings. It has a ruff of feathers around face. The bill is dark with blue base and yellow skin at base of bill. The eyes are yellow. The feet and legs are orange-yellow. The male is gray above with white chest and underside, white rump and black wing tips. The female has brown back, brown and white streaked face and tan and white striped underside. Juveniles are similar to adult females with less streaking on the underside.

Size
length 46cm - 50cm. Wingspan 102cm - 118cm

Environment
Open wetlands, meadows, pastures, prairies, grasslands, croplands, riverside woodlands.

Food
small mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs.

Breeding
The nest is a platform of vegetation on the ground in open field or meadow. Lays a clutch of four to six (range two to ten) white eggs.

Range
Breeds across Alaska and Canada, much of northern, western and central United States. Winters from southern Canada, through the United States to Central America and northern South America. Also found in Europe, Asia and northern Africa.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Circus
Species:cyaneus
Common Name:Northern Harrier