The photo is a male Hen Harrier, a very handsome chap. He is pretty distinctive but does look similar to some of his relatives (more on that in the next couple of posts). The female is brown with darker streaking and barring; both sexes have white uppertail-coverts but these are more obvious in the female, contrasting as they do with her darker plumage. Juveniles look similar to females, but with less streaking below and slightly more rufous-tinged underparts. Their preferred habitat is open country, such as moors, heaths, grassland, marshes and bogs. They are very widely distributed in Europe, and in fact the whole Northern Hemisphere, being resident in parts of western Europe and migratory in other areas, breeding in parts of Scandinavia and wintering in southern and eastern Europe.
|Hen Harrier, ©Radovan Václav, via Flickr Creative Commons.|
|Hen Harrier painting.|