Northern Harrier

About the Northern Harrier
Also known as: Hen Harrier, European Northern Harrier, Gray Ghost, Marsh Harrier

The Northern Harrier, also known as the Hen Harrier, is a widespread species of raptor that lives in the northern hemisphere across parts of the Americas as well as Eurasia. It is the only species of Harrier found in North America.

Harriers are sexually dichromatic, meaning that females and males have recognizable plumage differences. Males are mostly grey and white, while females are shades of brown and with some white. Both have a facial disc, which aids in hearing. The disc is more visible in the female.

Northern Harriers fly low, sometimes butterfly-like, over grasslands and other open habitats while hunting for prey. They eat mainly small mammals like mice, but will also take birds as prey.

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Details & Statistics

International Names

Related Articles

Bonanza Bird #6: Northern Harrier

Today's new bird in the Birdorable Bonanza 2012 is the Northern Harrier. In most birds of prey, males and females have similar plumage. The Northern Harrier is an exception to this rule. Males have a mostly grey plumage, while...  Read more »

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