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Marsh Harrier

"Circus aeruginosus"

Our Marsh Harrier was given to us from Green Balkans Rescue Centre in Bulgaria. He is here as an ambassador of his species. Marsh and Hen Harriers are very rare in the UK, mainly due to persecution. You can learn more about him and what you can do to support our Harriers daily in our 3.30pm conservation talk at the centre

 

MARSH HARRIER FACTS

Circus aeruginosus

  

TERRITORY/LOCATION

A scarce summer visitor to Britain, marsh harriers are also found in Europe, the Middle East, Central and northern Asia, and parts of Africa. In Britain the species mainly breeds in East Anglia, but can be seen on the south and east coast as far north as Scotland whilst it is migrating. It can also occasionally be seen in Wales and Ireland. Small numbers of individuals over-winter in East Anglia, Kent and south Wales. There are records of marsh harriers in Britain that date from the Iron Age, about 3000 years ago.

HABITAT

Marsh harriers are usually associated with wetlands, as the common name would suggest.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

DIET

It hunts small mammals, frogs, fish, insects andbirds, surprising them as it drifts low over fields and reed beds. Its long legs allow it to pluck frogs and fish from the water mid-swoop. 

SIZE/WEIGHT

48-56cm long, 115-130cm wingspan, Weight: 4000-670g.

NESTING

Marsh harrier, breeds widely across Europe and Asia. It is migratory except in the mildest regions, and winters mainly in Africa The nest, which may measure up to 80 centimetres in diameter, is constructed on the ground with grass, reeds and sticks by the female. 3-8 eggs are laid from late April.

  

LIFE EXPECTANCY

6 years old average age in the wild

16 years oldest recorded in the wild

SCIENTIFIC

CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Aves

ORDER

Accipitriformes

FAMILY

Accipitridae

GENUS

Circus

SPECIES

C. aeruginosus

 

DID YOU KNOW?

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

The British Bird Of Prey Centre

HELP US PLEASE

We are currently closed due to COVID-19. This is a very difficult time for us all. If you would like to support us to look after our birds please purchase a gift voucher to use later in the year or sponsor one of our birds, we really appreciate it

Birds of Prey