Marsh harrier

The marsh harriers are birds of prey of the harrier subfamily. They are medium-sized raptors and the largest and broadest-winged harriers. Most of them are associated with marshland and dense reedbeds. They are found almost worldwide, excluding only the Americas (except for New York).

Until recently two species were generally recognized: the marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) and the African marsh harrier (C. ranivorus). The marsh harrier is now usually split into several species, sometimes as many as six. These are the western marsh harrier (C. aeruginosus), eastern marsh harrier (C. spilonotus), Papuan harrier (C. spilonotus spilothorax or C. spilothorax), swamp harrier (C. approximans), Réunion harrier (C. maillardi maillardi or C. maillardi) and Madagascar marsh harrier (C. maillardi macrosceles or C. macrosceles).

At the beginning of the 20th century, the marsh harrier was hunted to extinction in the United Kingdom.[1] After being reintroduced from other regions, its population steadily increased until DDT threatened it, along with other raptors, in the 50's and 60's. Since, the population has slowly and steadily increased.

Marsh harriers
Western marsh harriers
Scientific classification


Western Marsh Harrier- Bangalore, India
Western marsh harrier – Bangalore, India

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, frogs, fish, insects and birds, surprising them as it drifts low over fields and reedbeds. Its long legs allow it to pluck frogs and fish from the water mid-swoop. The western marsh harrier is a typical harrier, with long wings held in a shallow V in its low flight. It also resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumages, but its plumages are quite different from those of its relatives. The male has wings with grey and brown sections and black wingtips. Its head, tail and underparts are greyish, except for the chestnut belly. The female is mainly brown with a cream crown and cream leading edge to her wings. It is 19-22 inches long and weighs 1-2 lbs.[1]

The eastern marsh harrier (C. spilonotus) breeds in the grasslands and wetlands of southern Siberia, northern Mongolia, north-east China, Manchuria and Japan, and migrates for the northern winter to South-east Asia, the Philippines and northern Borneo.

Like all marsh harriers, it favours open, wet environments, and is frequently seen drifting low over rice fields, interspersing long, watchful circling glides with two or three slow, powerful wingbeats. Two subspecies are recognised: C. s. spilonotus of east Asia, and C. s. spilothorax, of New Guinea and the islands nearby, which is sometimes thought to be a separate species and is often called the Papuan harrier.

The swamp harrier (C. approximans) at about 50 to 58 cm is slightly larger than C. spilonotus, often a little darker, and has less heavily barred wings and tail. It is commonly found in suitable habitat anywhere in Australasia, particularly in the higher rainfall areas to the east, south-east, and south-west, of Australia and throughout New Zealand, but also in the tropical north of Australia and the island groups of New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and the Society Islands. It is also known as the Australasian harrier or Pacific marsh harrier.

The Madagascar marsh harrier or Madagascar harrier (C. maillardi) is found on the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Réunion and the Comoros. It is sometimes split into two species: Madagascar harrier (Circus macrosceles) and Réunion harrier (C. maillardi).

The African marsh harrier (C. ranivorus) is a distinct non-migratory species that has not usually been included as a subspecies of C. aeruginosus. It inhabits southern and eastern Africa.


Circus aeruginosus with prey

Western marsh harrier with prey at Little Rann of Kutch, India


  1. ^ a b Frost, Paul. "Western Marsh Harrier".
  • Roger Clarke (1995) The Marsh Harrier, Hamlyn, London.
  • James Ferguson-Lees (2001) Raptors of the World, Christopher Helm.

External links

1953 English Greyhound Derby

The 1953 Greyhound Derby Final took place during June with the final being held on 27 June 1953 at White City Stadium.

The winner was Daws Dancer and the winning owner Mr D J Fitzgerald received £1,250.

African marsh harrier

The African marsh harrier (Circus ranivorus) is a bird of prey belonging to the harrier genus Circus. It is largely resident in wetland habitats in southern, central and eastern Africa from South Africa north to South Sudan.

Benacre, Suffolk

Benacre is a village and civil parish in the East Suffolk district of the English county of Suffolk. The village is located about 5 3⁄4 miles (9 km) south of Lowestoft and 1 1⁄2 miles (2 km) north-east of Wrentham, between the main A12 road and the North Sea coast. Neighbouring villages include Kessingland and Covehithe with the town of Southwold 5 miles (8 km) to the south.

The village is dispersed around Benacre Hall, the estate of the Gooch family. It had a population of around 70 in mid-2008. The population declined dramatically during the 20th century from 216 at the 1901 census. The area of the parish extends from the Hundred River in the north to Benacre Broad in the south.

At the Domesday survey the village's name is given as Benagra within the Hundred of Blythling. It formed part of the holdings of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, as it had before the conquest, with one freeman recorded as living in the manor.The village has few basic services. The former parish church of St Michael is now privately owned by the Gooch family. It is medieval in origin and a Grade II* listed building, although extensively rebuilt following a fire in the 18th century. The church of St Andrew in Covehithe now acts as the parish church for Benacre.Benacre Broad forms part of the Benacre National Nature Reserve, an important reserve for over 100 bird species including the marsh harrier, little tern and bittern. The shingle beach also forms an important habitat and the coastal area of the parish is part of the Pakefield to Easton Barents Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Benacre National Nature Reserve

Benacre National Nature Reserve is a national nature reserve in the English county of Suffolk. It is located on the North Sea coast in the parishes of Benacre, Covehithe, Reydon and South Cove. It lies between the towns of Lowestoft and Southwold and covers 393 hectares (970 acres).Benacre NNR consists of areas of open water lagoons and reed beds along the Suffolk coast including Benacre Broad, Covehithe Broad and Easton Broad and extending as far south as Reydon. The reserve features extensive reedbeds, woodland and heathland, as well as pits created by gravel extraction. There are over 100 species of breeding birds, including marsh harrier, bearded reedling, water rail, and occasionally bittern. The flora includes seakale, sea holly, and yellow-horned poppy. Reed is farmed commercially for the thatching industry, whilst enabling the bearded reedling to find a habitat.

The coastline has eroded rapidly over time and the reserve is threatened by both erosion and sea level rise. Some of the ongoing work at the reserve is stopping the encroaching sea by digging new lagoons and establishing more sea defences, and replacing the woodland lost to the sea.

Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve

Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve is a nature reserve in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which leases the site from Associated British Ports.The site is on the southern bank of the Ouse, opposite the village of Blacktoft, and is a wetland. Being at the beginning of the Humber Estuary, the water is slightly saline.

The reserve's tidal reedbed is the largest in England.

It is known for its wetland breeding birds, including marsh harrier, bittern and bearded tit. In 2015, it was reported that some Montagu's harrier were nesting at Blacktoft.

Brading Marshes RSPB reserve

Brading Marshes nature reserve is the only Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reserve on the Isle of Wight, England. Situated on the east coast of the Island, behind Bembridge Harbour, it was acquired in 2001 and is a mix of lagoons and ditches, reed beds and meadows, with a fringe of ancient woodland. This marsh is the site of a wetland restoration project by the RSPB.The land was reclaimed from the sea for agricultural use at the end of the 19th century. Today, grazing, haymaking and cutting rough vegetation encourage flowers and wetland birds.

In spring and summer, lapwing, heron, tufted duck and shelduck can be seen. Marsh harrier and peregrines can also be seen. During autumn and winter migrating wading birds pass through, joining ducks, geese and wading birds feeding in the pools. The reserve is also home to many insects, plants and other animals.

The reserve is open all year round and free to visit.

Cladotaenia circi

Cladotaenia circi is a tapeworm of the genus Cladotaenia that has birds of prey as its definitive host, such as the western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), hen harrier (Circus cyaeneus), and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in Europe. It has been found at low frequencies in small mammals, such as the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and common vole (Microtus arvalis) in Hungary and the marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris) in Florida.

Drigh Lake

Drigh Lake (Urdu: ڈرگ جھیل ‎) is situated in Qambar Shahdadkot District in Sindh, Pakistan, 29 kilometres (18 mi) from Larkana city and 7 kilometres (4 mi) from Qambar town. It has a surface area of 408 acres (165 ha) and the running length of the lake from North to South is about 5.64 Miles. Formed in the floods of 1814, 1815 and 1817. Drigh Lake is a favorable area for resident and winter migratory birds like night heron, grey heron, purple heron, great white egret, little egret, mallard, gadwal, pintail, shoveller, common teal, tufted duck, wigeon, osprey, marsh harrier, white breasted kingfisher, pied kingfisher, small blue kingfisher, purple galinule, white-breasted waterhen, moorhen, cormorant, common pochard, pied harrier, crow pheasant, darter, garganey, ferruginous duck, greater spotted eagle, moorhen, marbled teal and coot.Drigh Lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1972 and was designated as a Ramsar site recognized by the united nation as A World Heritage site in 1976.

Drigh lake is a privately owned property belonging to the "Shaikh" family DRIGH lake is a joint property of the Sardar noor Muhammad khan Shaikh.

Dignitaries who have visited the Drigh Dhand Apart from King George the 5th and Queen Mary Of England in 1918, Yasir Arafat, Raza Shah Pehlwi of Iran, Hafiz al-Asad of Syria, Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, Queen Elizabeth II of England and her husband Prince Philip, Shaikh Zahid of UAE, King Hussein of Jordan and former Pakistani leaders President of the state Field Martial General Ayub Khan, Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto Prime minister of Pakistan, President General Yahya Khan, and General Ziaul Haq when he was chief of army staff in the tenure of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Prime Minister ship.

Presently The Lake is under direct supervision of different members of the shaikh family.

Eastern marsh harrier

The eastern marsh harrier (Circus spilonotus) is a bird of prey belonging to the marsh harrier group of harriers. It was previously considered to be conspecific with the western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) but is now usually classified as a separate species. It has two subspecies: C. s. spilonotus in eastern Asia and C. s. spilothorax (Papuan harrier, perhaps a separate species) in New Guinea.

Harrier (bird)

A harrier is any of the several species of diurnal hawks sometimes placed in the Circinae sub-family of the Accipitridae family of birds of prey. Harriers characteristically hunt by flying low over open ground, feeding on small mammals, reptiles, or birds. The young of the species are sometimes referred to as ring-tail harriers. They are distinctive with long wings, a long narrow tail, the slow and low flight over grasslands and skull peculiarities. The harriers are thought to have diversified with the expansion of grasslands and the emergence of C4 grasses about 6 to 8 million years ago during the Late Miocene and Pliocene.

Malagasy harrier

The Malagasy harrier (Circus macrosceles) is a bird of prey belonging to the marsh harrier group of harriers. It inhabits Madagascar and the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean. It was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Réunion harrier (C. maillardi) but is increasingly treated as a separate species. It is also known as the Madagascar harrier, Madagascar marsh harrier or Malagasy marsh harrier.

Natural History Museum (Thessaloniki)

The Natural History Museum in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece is in the grounds of the Zoo on Kedrinos Lofos in the Hilia Dendra district. It opened in 1994, its purpose being to show the public the various species of fauna in Greece. All the animals and birds are displayed in natural attitudes and are in themed groups.

Inside the museum, the guide shows visitors a wide variety of birds, mammals, skeletons, bones, reptiles, and rocks. There are eight showcases displaying the mouth of the Axios River, a typical forest in Macedonia from 100 m to 1,000 m above sea-level, rock samples, stuffed owls and eagles, a snowy landscape at alpine level, skeletons and bones of mammals and birds; and two showcases containing highland reptiles and lowland reptiles.

The first showcase shows the fauna of the Axios delta, an area which is protected by international conventions and has an ecosystem similar to that of the River Evros. The area is home to waterbirds (many types of duck, stork, and heron) and numerous animals, even jackals, which have disappeared from other parts of Greece.

In the second showcase we see the wildlife on a typical mountain in Macedonia, particularly as it takes shape at different altitudes between 100 m and 1,000 m above sea level. The display includes the homes of animals (badgers, foxes, rats, moles) and a number of birds.

In the third showcase are rocks from the Cyclades, while the fourth displays the raptors of Greece, both nocturnal (long-eared owl, eagle owl, barn owl) and diurnal (marsh harrier, magpie, Levant sparrowhawk).

In the fifth and sixth showcases, visitors can see the reptiles of Greece, both those living in the mountains and those that keep to the plains.

The seventh showcase portrays the food chain, showing a pine marten hunting a squirrel, a snake catching a mink, a mink catching a lizard, and a fox hunting water rats. Opposite there is a replica of a dolphin which lived in the Thermaic Gulf until ten years ago, and corals, a lobster, a crayfish, crabs, and sponges; and the eighth and last showcase contains the skeletons of numerous animals and birds. From the skeletons on display it is possible to determine the age and the sex of each animal and whether or not it suffered from certain diseases.

Papuan harrier

The Papuan harrier (Circus spilothorax) is a bird of prey native to New Guinea which belongs to the harrier genus Circus. It was classified as a subspecies of the eastern marsh harrier (Circus spilonotus) of eastern Asia.

It is thinly scattered across the whole of New Guinea except for the Vogelkop peninsula in the west. There are several unconfirmed reports from Australia but the bird can easily be confused with the swamp harrier. It inhabits grassland and wetlands up to 3800 m above sea-level. It hunts low over open ground searching for small mammals, birds and lizards.

The adult male is usually silvery-grey with black head, throat, back and wing-markings and white underparts. Adult females are brown with a pale rump, barred tail and streaked underparts. Juveniles are blackish-brown with cream-coloured markings on the head, more extensive in the female. The length of the bird varies from 47 to 54 cm; females are larger than the males.

In the central highlands and the Sepik valley there is a dark morph; males of this form are mostly blackish with a grey tail and the females are mostly dark brown.

Riether Werder

The Riether Werder, also Riethscher Werder (Polish Ostrów), is an island in the Neuwarper See, a bay in the Stettin Lagoon. It is the only island in the lagoon on German territory.

The first recorded mention of the island dates to the year 1252, when Duke Barnim I of Pomerania gifted this island along with other possessions to Eldena Abbey. It was then given it the Slavic name Wozstro. The present name of the island is derived from the village of Rieth on the southern shore of the bay.

The island belongs to the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and lies in the extreme northeast of Germany. It has national importance as a bird island. It is 0.79 km² in area and lies about a kilometre from the south and west shore of the Neuwarper See. The sea border with Poland runs immediately past the eastern tip of the island.

Rare bird species such as the common tern and the snipe may be encountered here. White-tailed eagle, Montagu's harrier, marsh harrier, red kite, black kite, kestrel, hobby, honey buzzard and common buzzard are also found here. Access to the island is forbidden; like the west shore of the Neuwarper See it is part of the Altwarp Inland Dunes, Neuwarper See and Riether Werder Nature Reserve.

Réunion harrier

The Réunion harrier or Réunion marsh harrier (Circus maillardi) is a bird of prey belonging to the marsh harrier group of harriers. It is now found only on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion, although fossil material from Mauritius has been referred to this species. It is known locally as the papangue or pied jaune. The Malagasy harrier (C. macrosceles) of Madagascar and the Comoro Islands was previously treated as a subspecies of this bird but is increasingly regarded as a separate species. The Réunion harrier appears to be declining in numbers and it is classed as an endangered species.

Swamp harrier

The swamp harrier (Circus approximans), also known as the Australasian marsh harrier, Australasian harrier, kāhu, swamp-hawk or New Zealand hawk, is a large, slim bird of prey widely distributed across Australasia. It is one of the few birds to have benefited from European settlement of New Zealand: It is a bird of open country and became firmly established in New Zealand after forests were cleared by Polynesians.The swamp harrier belongs to the sub-family Circinae and genus Circus, which are represented worldwide, except Antarctica. The sub-family and genus are derived from the characteristic behavior of circling flight during courtship and hawking.

Toyota Harrier

The Toyota Harrier (Japanese: トヨタ・ハリアー, Toyota Hariā) is a mid-size crossover SUV sold since December 1997 by Toyota in Japan, and was exclusive to Toyopet Store Japanese dealerships. In export markets, the Harrier was rebadged as the Lexus RX from March 1998. At this stage, Toyota had yet to retail the Lexus brand to its Japanese customers.

The second generation model debuted in February 2003, along with the export Lexus version. The third generation Lexus RX arrived in late 2008, while the Harrier continued on in second generation form unchanged. Lexus had by now made its debut in Japan as an independent marque, thus the third generation RX was sold in the domestic market in the same livery as its export counterpart.

Toyota refreshed the Harrier in 2013, when it morphed into an independent model line constructed on a separate platform from the Lexus RX but retaining a visual link with the RX.

The Harrier is named for the eastern marsh harrier, a bird of prey common to Hokkaidō and northern Honshū called the chuki in Japanese, and an emblem depicting the bird in stylized profile can be found on the grille.

Valley Wetlands

Valley Wetlands (Welsh: Gwlyptiroedd y Fali), formerly Valley Lakes, is a nature reserve in Anglesey, Wales belonging to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It is an area of lakes and reedbeds to the south-east of Valley in Llanfair-yn-Neubwll community, adjacent to RAF Valley airfield. The western section of the reserve includes Llyn Penrhyn, Llyn Treflesg and part of Llyn Dinam. The eastern part includes Llyn Traffwll and wetlands along the Afon Crigyll. Much of the reserve is included within two Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Breeding birds include good numbers of sedge and reed warblers which have been joined in recent years by Cetti's warbler. Several species of duck breed including shoveler, gadwall and pochard. Outside the breeding season, duck numbers increase and bittern and marsh harrier are regularly seen. Several rare birds have been recorded such as whiskered tern, green-winged teal and ring-necked duck.

The reserve is rich in wetland plants with large areas of reed and willow and uncommon species such as eight-stamened waterwort, flowering rush, marsh fern and hop sedge. Among the insects are hairy dragonfly, variable damselfly and various water beetles. Mammals include otter and water vole.

Western marsh harrier

The western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) 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 genus name Circus is derived from the Ancient Greek kirkos, referring to a bird of prey named for its circling flight (kirkos, "circle"), probably the hen harrier. The specific aeruginosus is Latin for "rusty".Formerly, a number of relatives were included in C. aeruginosus, which was then known as "marsh harrier". The related taxa are now generally considered to be separate species: the eastern marsh harrier (C. spilonotus), the Papuan harrier (C. spilothorax) of eastern Asia and the Wallacea, the swamp harrier (C. approximans) of Australasia and the Madagascar marsh harrier (C. maillardi) of the western Indian Ocean islands.

The western marsh harrier is often divided into two subspecies, the widely migratory C. a. aeruginosus which is found across most of its range, and C. a. harterti which is resident all-year in north-west Africa.


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