Species of the Month - Marsh Harrier


Have you seen a Marsh Harrier this month?

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Our species of the month for November is the Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

After becoming extinct in the UK due to persecution and habitat loss by the late 19th century, these birds have been a huge conservation success story, with over 100 females nesting in Norfolk each year. The best places to see them are close to wetlands, where they usually nest - the Fens, the Broads and the Norfolk coast. However they can also be seen further inland and will sometimes breed in arable fields. They can be seen all year round.

The largest of the harriers, they can be recognised by their gliding flight with their broad wings held in a V-shape and by their lack of a white rump. Males are a reddish brown colour with grey wings and black wingtips. Females are chocolate brown and lighter on the top of their head, chin and shoulders.

Marsh harriers are territorial. They nest on the ground, often in reedbeds and feed on small mammals and birds.

Please record sightings (with a photo if possible) using our online recording form below:


The easiest way to send us information about the species you have seen is via our online form:



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© Artur MikoĊ‚ajewski and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic licence