Data for:
PN Ria Formosa--Ilha de Tavira
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Accipitriformes > Accipitridae

Montagu's Harrier

Circus pygargus

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Identification

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Lightly built hawk with rather narrow and somewhat tapered wings. Favors heathland, grassland, arable fields, marshes. Mainly seen in flight, quartering fairly low with wings raised in shallow V; flight rather buoyant. Male pale gray overall with black wingtips (can be confused with a gull); note narrow black bar on upperwing. Female told from Hen Harrier by narrower wings, more buoyant flight; juvenile bright rusty below. Some individuals are very dark overall. Pallid Harrier males lack the black wing bars and rusty traces on the underparts of their Montagu's counterparts, while Pallid females and juveniles average far paler in the face.

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