Home Diurnal Birds of Prey - FALCONIFORMES Accipitridae Northern Harrier - Circus cyaneus
Northern Harrier PDF Print E-mail

Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
L 17-23"(43-58 cm) W 38-48"(97-122 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Usually silent.

more images

photo by Phil Swanson


Description: White rump, owl-like facial disk. A slim hawk. Male is light gray above and white below. In flight, black wing tips are visible. Female is brown above, with brown streaking below. Immature brown above, cinnamon below.

Behavior: Fly low to the ground, with a characteristic slow, hesitant flight. Wings often tilted up (dihedral) when flying.

Bird Map
Habitat: Grasslands, prairie marshes, and wet meadows. Nesting occurs in a range of vegetation, from upland grasses to emergent vegetation in ponds and marshes.

Where in Nebraska:
Common migrant and permanent resident across the state. Breeds locally.

Fun Facts: Have a somewhat owl-like facial disk that helps them locate prey by sound.


(click image for larger view)


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