Tim Melling – Northern Harrier

Tim writes: this is a wild Northern Harrier giving me eye-to-eye contact as it flew right over my head at Reifel Bird Sanctuary near Vancouver.  It is a youngster, hatched this year and identifiable by the rufous wash on its underparts.  I can also identify this as a juvenile male because it has greenish eyes.  Juvenile females have dark chocolate brown eyes, but in both sexes the eye colour gradually pales to yellow by adulthood.

Until recently this was known as the American race of Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus subspecies hudsonicus), although it was commonly known as Marsh Hawk in America.  Recent work suggested that the American race merited full species status and it was duly awarded that, so is know known as Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonicus).

Taken with Nikon D500 and Nikkor 300mm f4 lens with a 1.4x converter at f5.6 ISO 360 1/1600s

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1 Comment

  1. nimby says:

    Oh that we can see #HenHarriers gracing the skies of northern England again ....

    Come on SoS, step up and walk the talk please ....

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