Chesapeake Bay > Sidebars > Northern Harrier
Northern harrier  (Circus cyaneus)

Northern Harrier

This large hawk with a 42-inch wingspan is a fairly common sight soaring above meadows and marshes. The male is pale gray above and white below, while the female is brown above and streaked with brown on her undersides. The distinctive white rump and banded tail make identification easier. The northern harrier, or marsh hawk, (Circus cyaneus) feeds chiefly on rodents and builds a nest close to or on the ground.

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