Australasian Harrier

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Scientific Name: 
Circus approximans

Male 55 cm, 650 g; Female 60 cm, 850 g. Large brown hawk with long fingered wings held in shallow V, and a long slightly rounded tail. Becomes paler with age. Juvenile very dark brown with a prominent white patch on back of head; brown uppertail and brown eye. In adult, head and upperparts dark brown, face paler; uppertail white, tail light brown barred dark brown; underparts reddish brown streaked dark brown, underwings barred at tips and on trailing half. Some very old males have frosty-grey upperparts, pale buff underparts and white underwings. Eye yellow in males, very pale yellow in females. Commonly soars and glides in search of prey or carrion; often feeds on roadkilled animals. Habitat: Farmland, tussockland and swamps, also forest edges. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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