Montagu's harriers are the rarest breeding bird of prey in the UK, with just five nests in 2016. View the migration routes they take.
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. It is a summer visitor, and migrates to Africa to spend the winter.
Montagu's harrier are a Schedule 1 listed species on The Wildlife and Countryside Act.
What they eat:
Small birds, voles, shrews, rabbits, lizards and insects.
- 100-120 cm
- 225-450 g
- UK breeding:
- Less than 5 pairs
This bird species has different identifying features depending on sex/age/season.