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Northern Harrier Circus hudsonius



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Photos from this Account

Adult male

Medium-sized raptor with long, broad wings, a long tail, and a characteristic white rump patch. Adult males are grayish above with a dark trailing edge on the wings.

Adult female

Often flies with its broad wings held in a "V". Note long tail. Females are pale below withe brown streaking.


Immature birds have an unstreaked cinnamon wash on their belly and a darker brown head. Their flight feathers and tail are banded.

Adult male

From below adult males are pale with black wingtips and black-tipped secondaries. Often hovers above prey before pouncing.

Adult female

Both males and females have a distinctive white rump patch.


Flies on long and broad wings. Note long tail.

Adult female

Perches on low trees and shrubs as well as fence posts.


Northern Harriers have an owl-like face that helps them detect prey by ear.


Found in open areas such as grasslands, marshes, and fields soaring low over the ground.

Recommended Citation

Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: