Northern Harrier

Circus cyaneus

The Northern Harrier cruises low over the marsh in search of prey. If you think you see this bird in flight, look for a white patch at the base of the tail. Though a member of the keen-sighted hawk family, the harrier is listening as well as looking. Stiff facial feathers in a circular pattern around its face, similar to an owl’s facial disk, funnel the sounds of rustling rodents into the harrier’s ears.

Fun Fact:
Unusual for a hawk, the Northern Harrier's facial feathers are stiffened into an owl-like facial disk.

What’s for Lunch:
Small mammals like mice, and birds

Where’s Home:
The lagoon and surrounding grasslands, year-round, though more numerous in winter