Marsh Harrier

Scientific name: Circus aeruginosus

Did you know: The Marsh Harrier, once nearly extinct in the UK, has made a remarkable comeback and can now be regularly spotted in eastern England’s marshlands!

What Do Marsh Harriers Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Marsh Harriers are distinguished by their impressive size and soaring flight, with wings often held in a shallow ‘V’. These birds of prey have a robust build, broad wings, and are easily recognised by their unique tail and wing shape.

Differences Between Male And Female Marsh Harriers

Male and female Marsh Harriers display notable differences in size and plumage. Males are smaller with a lighter build, while females are larger with more pronounced creamy heads.

What Do Marsh Harriers Eat?

Marsh Harriers are skilled hunters, primarily feeding on small birds and mammals found in their wetland habitats. They are known for their unique hunting style, swooping low over marshes and fields.

Where Do Marsh Harriers Live? (Including Migration Info)

Marsh Harriers are predominantly found in marshy and wetland areas. They are mainly seen in Eastern England and have a stable breeding population in the UK. These birds migrate to warmer regions during harsher climates.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Marsh Harriers)

While typically silent, during the breeding season, Marsh Harriers produce distinctive calls. The males emit a ‘wee-ah’ sound during courtship flights, and females respond with similar vocalisations.

Fun Marsh Harrier Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Marsh Harriers can glide gracefully over water with their wings held in a ‘V’ shape.
  • Females are larger than males – a unique trait among birds of prey.
  • Once nearly extinct in the UK, they have made a significant recovery.
  • These birds build their nests on the ground, often hidden in reeds.
  • Marsh Harriers have an impressive wingspan, aiding in their agile flight.

Marsh Harrier Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Marsh Harrier

Diet: Small birds and mammals.
Bird Family: Kites, hawks and eagles
Length: 48-56cm
Wingspan: 115-130cm
Weight: 400-660g (male); 540-800g (female)
Scientific Name: Circus aeruginosus

The Marsh Harrier Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December