Northern Harrier - click to enlarge

Northern Harrier

This is a migrant to the southern marshes. They will spend the winter here but breed up north.

Northern Harrier - click to enlarge
Northern Harrier – click to enlarge

Northern Harriers are the most owl-like of hawks (though they’re not related to owls). They rely on hearing as well as vision to capture prey. The disk-shaped face looks and functions much like an owl’s, with stiff facial feathers helping to direct sound to the ears.

Northern Harrier - click to enlarge
Northern Harrier – click to enlarge

They hunt by slowly flying over open marshes. They will hover directly over intended prey before diving into the reeds.

Most sightings of Harriers are as they glide over a marsh. I have never seen one any other way. Because they are always over marshlands getting any photographs is difficult.

Northern Harrier - click to enlarge
Northern Harrier – click to enlarge

This week has been unusual and I have seen, and captured several Harriers in different marshes.

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