Common Names: Northern harrier, hen harrier, grey ghost
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.