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Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

(Circus cyaneus)


(wingspan: 38’’-48’’) Northern Harriers are sexually dimorphic, meaning the males and females look very different. Males are generally gray in color with barring of darker gray on wings and tail. Their chest is lighter with dark speckles. Females have a dark brown head and back with a rufous chest and underparts. Their facial disk is outlined with pale white feathers.


These birds prey on rodents, rabbits, small birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.


There are some populations of Northern Harriers that stay in Colorado year-round and some that migrate here just for the winter.


Northern Harriers will make their nests on the ground where they are protected by vegetation. Females will lay one to seven eggs per brood and the babies will fledge in four to five weeks.

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