Northern Harrier at Rest

Northern Harrier male, resting in northern part of Cesar Chavez Park

I had the great good fortune today to photograph a Northern Harrier male at rest on a branch.  This is almost certainly the same bird that I photographed in flight a couple of days ago, see pics here.  I managed a short video, see below.

Here you can see the owl-like face that is said to be characteristic of these birds.  The eyes seem to be inset a bit, and the raised brows and lower lids may help the bird shade its eyes from the sun, much as the black eye patches do for the White-tailed Kite. 

Note also the formidable claws.  

After resting for a few minutes, the bird resumed scanning the ground from low altitudes, sometimes barely clearing the bushes in the park.  

More about this bird at the Cornell bird lab website and the Audubon site.  Note, as I pointed out the other day, that the females are brown.  

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