Harrier (Accipitridae)

Appearance
There are 4 species of Harrier seen in Kenya. They are long tailed, long winged and have slim bodies. They also have long, bare tarsis (lower leg). Heads are small, usually with an owl-like disc. Their wings are V-shaped in flight. Females are larger than males and migrant birds differ in plumage between the sexes.

Habits
Harriers all fly like Falcons, with twisting, turning actions, low over the ground. They are usually seen solitary, but pair for life. Mostly seen perched on low posts, on the ground or flying low over open ground.

Diet
Harriers eat small mammals, birds, reptiles, rodents and large insects.

Resident
Harriers are seen throughout Kenya, except in the far east. Three are paleartic migrants, with only the uncommonly seen African Marsh Harrier being resident. The migrants visit between October and March, sometimes seen during early-April.

Extra Harrier Facts
Harriers belong to a family that also includes Buzzard, Eagles, Hawks, Kites and Vultures. Other birds in this family include the Secretary Bird, Bateleur and Shikra.

Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Lake Baringo, Masai Mara and Olare Orok Conservancy.

Eurasian Marsh Harrier

Eurasian Marsh Harrier

Montagu's Harrier

Montagu's Harrier

Pallid Harrier

Pallid Harrier