Saturday, January 22, 2011

Northern Harrier

The Northern Harrier winters over in the Texas panhandle. It rarely breeds here. Unlike many hawks, the harrier female is distinctly different in appearance from the male. It is also much larger. The Northern Harrier is up to 24" in length with a wingspan of up to 4 1/2 feet. This member of the hawk family has an owl-like facial disc that allows it to hunt by sound as well as sight. Its soft feathers allow for it to silently cruise low over fields, undetected by its prey. Using these ambush tactics, its prey stands no chance of escape.

(Female Northern Harrier)
(More images and info on the Northern Harrier HERE.)