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Marsh Harrier Scape
Marsh Harrier Scape

The Western Marsh-harrier is a large harrier, a bird of prey from temperate and subtropical western Eurasia and adjacent Africa. It is also known as the Eurasian Marsh-harrier.

The Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), often simply called the Marsh Harrier, breeds widely across Europe and Asia. It is migratory except in the mildest regions, and winters mainly in Africa. It hunts small mammals, insects and birds, surprising them as it drifts low over fields and reedbeds.

The Western Marsh-harrier is 43 to 54 cm in length, and has a wingspan of 115 to 130 cm and a weight of 400 to 650 g in males and 500 to 800 g in females. It is a large, bulky harrier with fairly broad wings, and has a strong and peculiar sexual dichromatism. The male's plumage is mostly a cryptic reddish-brown with lighter yellowish streaks, which are particularly prominent on the breast. The head and shoulders are mostly pale greyish-yellowish. The rectrices and the secondary and tertiary remiges are pure grey, the latter contrasting with the brown forewing and the black primary remiges at the wingtips. The upperside and underside of the wing look similar, though the brown is lighter on the underwing. Whether from the side or below, flying males appear characteristically three-colored brown-grey-black. The legs, feet, irides and the cere of the black bill are yellow.

The female is almost entirely chocolate-brown. The top of the head, the throat and the shoulders have of a conspicuously lighter yellowish colour; this can be clearly delimited and very contrasting, or (particularly in worn plumage) be more washed-out, resembling the male's head colors. But the eye area of the female is always darker, making the light eye stand out, while the male's head is altogether not very contrastingly colored and the female lacks the grey wing-patch and tail. Juveniles are similar to females, but usually have less yellow, particularly on the shoulders.

There is a rare hypermelanic morph with largely dark plumage. It is most often found in the east of the species' range. Juveniles of this morph may look entirely black in flight.

Disclaimer: This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. © All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)

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 RSS  Disclaimer : This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)