Conservation status: Amber
The Montagu's harrier is a slim, medium-sized, long-winged bird of prey. It has a long tail, is smaller than a buzzard, and has more pointed wings than the similar hen harrier. The male is grey above. In flight, it shows black wingtips and a black stripe across the inner wing. The female is dark brown. It is an extremely rare breeding bird in the UK, and its status is precarious. Each pair needs special protection. It seems increasingly to be nesting on arable farmland rather than on marshes, which seems to have been fortunate, because nests on farmland produce more chicks. It is a summer visitor, and migrates to Africa to spend the winter.
Montagu's harrier - male in flight
Montagu's harrier - female in flight
Hawks and eagles (Accipitridae)
Where to see them
Nest sites are kept secret to protect birds from egg collectors and unwitting disturbance. It is possible to see them on passage, particularly on the south and eastern coasts of England.
When to see them
Between May and August
What they eat
Small birds, voles, shrews, rabbits, lizards and insects.
|Europe||UK breeding*||UK wintering*||UK passage*|