Birds – The Marsh Harrier, Or Moor Buzzard

(C. Aeyuginosus), is another handsome species of temperate Europe and Siberia, whence it migrates in winter to Africa, India, and China. It was also once abundant throughout the British Islands, but owing to constant molestation it has now become extinct as a British bird. The male has the upper parts brown, the head creamy white, and the lower parts buff, streaked with brown and chestnut, while a part of the wing and tail is pearl-gray. The female is very similar, being a little darker. It is most frequently observed about fens and marshes, although sometimes it may be seen hunting over dry grass plains. Its food and nesting habits are similar to those of the last-mentioned species, from which, however, it differs in being much larger. Hardly to be distinguished from the Hen Harrier, except in its smaller size and greater comparative length of wing, is Montagu’s Harrier (C. Pygargus), a bird enjoying nearly the same range as the Marsh Harrier, and having practically the same life habits. Other species are the Pied Harrier (C. melanoleucus) of eastern Siberia and Mongolia, Gould’s Harrier (C. Gouldi) of Australia and New Zealand, the Black Harrier (C. Maurus) of South Africa, and the South African Marsh Harrier (C. Ranivorus).