Circus cyaneus hudsonius

Common Names: Northern harrier, hen harrier, grey ghost
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Hawks, Kites, & Eagles

The Northern Harrier is 45-55 cm long with a 97-118 cm wingspan. It resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumages. The sexes also differ in weight, with males weighing an average of 350 g and females an average of 530 g. The male of the nominate race, C. c. cyaneus (Linnaeus, 1766), breeds in Europe and Asia, is mainly grey above and white below except for the upper breast, which is grey like the upperparts, and the rump, which is white; the wings are grey with black wingtips. The female is brown above with white upper tail coverts, hence females, and the similar juveniles, are often called 'ringtails'. Their underparts are buff streaked with brown. The race C. c. hudsonius (Linnaeus, 1766) breeds in North America and is sometimes considered a distinct species, C. hudsonius. The male's plumage is darker grey than that of C. c. cyaneus and the female is also darker and more rufous.

Found near open habitats and extensive agriculture.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: While not generally considered dangerous, birds of prey will sometimes will attack humans or pets when defending their territory or may see small pets as prey. It is not safe to handle an injured hawk unless protected and trained.