Bird of the Week – The Northern Harrier

My chickens have a stalker! I saw him again this morning as I was putting the hens’ breakfast in the coop: he was perched on a purple martin house looking hungry! Good thing the coop is an impenetrable fortress – no one gets in and no one gets out. Knock on wood!

Northern Harriers are big hawks with long wings and a long tail. The male is a beautiful light grey colour accented with yellow eyes and eye-catching yellow legs. The female is dark brown all over except for a big white patch on her rump visible from great distances. Both the males and females have facial discs that make them look a bit like owls. These diurnal (active during the day) raptors spend a lot of time around marshes and meadows stalking rodents from the air. They’ve been known to feast on other birds too, even ducks – or free range chickens if you’re not careful!

Happy harrier spotting all!




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