Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Montagu's Harrier

From Opus

MalePhoto by aravind84Chennai, India
Photo by aravind84
Chennai, India
Circus pygargus


[edit] Identification

39–49 cm (15¼-19¼ in)
Male: Grey upperparts, head (paler around eye), and upper breast, rest of undersides mainly whitish with reddish elongated spots; white upper-tail coverts, upper tail grey, under-tail with three faint bars. Primaries are black , and there is one black wingbar above and two on underwing.
Female: mainly greyish brown, strongly streaked on underside, much white around eye
Juvenile: dark wings and mantle, warm reddish brown undersides with strong facial markings (much white) but weak white collar around upper neck
In flight: shows four noticable free primaries

Female and juvenilePhoto by jankeesNetherlands, June 2006
Female and juvenile
Photo by jankees
Netherlands, June 2006

[edit] Similar species

A lengthy thread which discusses separation from Hen Harrier.
See also Pallid Harrier

[edit] Distribution

Breeding in Eurasia, wintering to India, Middle East and Africa.

A very patchy range across Europe, widespread in Spain but found in scattered pockets from France east to the Baltic States and Poland, and south to Romania. More continuous in Belarus and Ukraine and east across Russia. Isolated outposts in southern Britain, central Sweden and southern Finland, Turkey and North-West Africa.

Extremely rare breeder in Britain with very small numbers present in summer and few successful nests. To the east range extends to northern Iran, Turkestan and Kazakstan, possibly into China in western Sinkiang.

Adult male in flightPhoto by Momo.Switzerland, April 2008
Adult male in flight
Photo by Momo.
Switzerland, April 2008

Occurs as a passage migrant across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa concentrating in particular at Gibraltar. Rarely recorded in the region in winter, most migrate to sub-Saharan Africa occurring from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south through the eastern half of the continent to South Africa. The commonest wintering harrier in much of Africa. Most have left Europe by mid-October and return in April.

Vagrants have been recorded in Iceland.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Marshes, reedbeds and cultivated land, especially cornfields, also moorland and heathland and rough grassland.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Flight

Usually fly with wings held in a high V; if gliding there is often a bend at the wing near the body, so that the inner part is more vertical. Mostly fly low when hunting, can be seen high above when migrating.

[edit] Diet

Food consists of small mostly vertebrate animals.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved September 2016)

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.30557990 seconds with 8 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 17:53.