10 November, 2009

Western Marsh Harrier

Scientific Name: Circus aeruginosus

Population Estimate: 93K - 14M

Range and Habitat: A scarce summer visitor to Britain, marsh harriers are also found in Europe, the Middle East, Central and northern Asia, and parts of Africa. In Britain the species mainly breeds in East Anglia, but can be seen on the south and east coast as far north as Scotland whilst it is migrating. It can also occasionally be seen in Wales and Ireland. Small numbers of individuals over-winter in East Anglia, Kent and south Wales.

Field Notes: It is a large, bulky harrier with fairly broad wings, and has a strong and peculiarsexual dichromatism. The male's plumage is mostly a cryptic reddish-brown with lighter yellowish streaks, which are particularly prominent on the breast. The head and shoulders are mostly pale greyish-yellowish. Therectrices and the secondary and tertiary remigesare pure grey, the latter contrasting with the brown forewing and the black primary remiges at the wingtips.The plumage colour is variable, but mainly brown. Females and immature individuals have creamy coloured crowns and throats; mature males have pale-grey wings with a dark brown body and wings.

Personal Notes: 

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