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Northern Harrier (Juvenile) by Mark Schmitt
Mark Schmitt

Northern Harrier (Juvenile) by Mark Schmitt in Wildlife

This is a migrant species of Falcon (Order FALCONIFORMES - Family ACCIPITRIDAE; Circus cyaneus) that specializes in gliding, lazily, over dense brush and verge, looking for small rodents. They typically will glide with their head downward toward the ground. They do this to listen for movement, thats right movement. It is a form of passive sonar location. They have very small feet and talons, hence the reason for only small rodents, and perhaps small passerine birds. This is a first year bird, probably a female. The males have no barring in the wings, and very much light colored, unlike the female which will be ruddy in color and have streaks in the flanks and breast area. This is an easy bird to photograph, but a good stable gimbal head would be recommended.

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