The eastern marsh harrier (Circus spilonotus) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These eastern marsh harrier species are distributed in Northeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
Taxonomy of Eastern marsh harrier
- Scientific Name: Circus spilonotus
- Common Name: Eastern marsh harrier
- French: Busard d’Orient German: Mangroveweihe Spanish: Aguilucho lagunero oriental;
- Other names: Circus spilonotus Kaup, 1847;
- Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Species author: Kaup, 1847
|Indian birds - Image of Eastern marsh harrier - Circus spilonotus|
DescriptionThe eastern marsh harrier is a medium sized bird, measuring 45 to 55 cm in length and weighing 350 to 800 grams. The wingspan is 110 to 140 cm. The female harrier is slightly larger than the male. The male has blackish head, breast, back and wing-coverts with pale streaks. the rump is white and the belly is mostly white. The female is dark brown. Their call is a mewing sound.
HabitatThese harrier species inhabit open country and dense marsh vegetation, including marshland, paddy fields, wetlands and grasslands.
Feeding habitsThese harrier species hunt by flying close to ground. They prey on small mammals, birds, frogs and reptiles.
BreedingThe eastern marsh harrier nests on ground and reed beds. Nest is built with sticks and reeds. The breeding season is from April to June.
DistributionThe eastern marsh harrier is distributed in northeast China, Mongolia, south-east Siberia and northern Japan. They winter in southern China, Taiwan, Korea, southern Japan, north-east India, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, Philippines and Indonesia.
Movement PatternsThe eastern marsh harrier are mostly migratory except for sedentary Papuan harrier. The northern harriers move southwards for wintering.
Status and conservationThe eastern marsh harrier global population size has not been quantified, but with an extremely large range, they are considered not vulnerable. Habitat loss and human activities are the main threats to their survival.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these harrier species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Circus_spilotonus.jpg
Image Author: markaharper1 | Image License: CC BY-SA 2.0
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