Northern Harrier

General description.

Mottled gray head and back; paler breast with spots. This "Marsh Hawk" has a white rump, seen while gliding above wetlands. This bird is the only North American hawk known as "harrier". It hunts flying close to the ground and relys on its keen hearing to capture small animals.

Female appearance.

Brown above, streaked below.

Juvenile appearance.

Rusty tone.

Flight pattern.

Fast flying holding its wings in a "V" shape.

Breeding habits.

From Alaska east through Canada and the Maritimes and south to Southern California, Arizona, Kansas and Virginia.

Calls or song.

The Northern Harrier remains silent, except for a sharp whistle or "kee-kee-kee" when near its nest.

Population and distribution.

Look for this bird anywhere in the United States between breeding and migration.

Nesting habits.

4-5 blue or white usually unmarked eggs (although sometimes spotted with brown), laid in a mound of dead reeds and grass hidden in the marsh.
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