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Marsh harrier

Marsh harrier

Marsh harriers are birds of prey found almost worldwide.

Biology

Keywords

marsh harrier, harrier, grasping foot, tearing beak, egg, nest, nidicolous, feather, beak, animal, vertebrates, predator, apex predator, bird, reed bed, biology

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Scenes

Female with nestlings

  • nestling - They hatch from the eggs after 31-32 days and are able to fly in 5-6 weeks.
  • egg - Females lay 4-5 of these and they are incubated for 31-32 days between April and July.
  • nest - They build these typically in reeds; they are made of reed or bulrush.
  • female - They are larger than males. They weigh 500-800 g, while males weigh only 400-700 g.

Male

Anatomy

  • Wingspan: 110-130 cm
  • Body mass: 400-800 g
  • grasping foot - Being birds of prey, they have strong feet, which are adapted for seizing prey.
  • tearing beak - The crooked, pointed, sharp beaks, which serve to crush food, are characteristic features of raptors.
  • tail flight feathers (rectrices) - They assist in steering during flight; for this reason they are also called rudder feathers.
  • wing flight feathers (remiges) - They play an important role in flying by increasing the wing surface of birds.

Flight

Animation

  • nestling - They hatch from the eggs after 31-32 days and are able to fly in 5-6 weeks.
  • egg - Females lay 4-5 of these and they are incubated for 31-32 days between April and July.
  • nest - They build these typically in reeds; they are made of reed or bulrush.
  • female - They are larger than males. They weigh 500-800 g, while males weigh only 400-700 g.
  • Wingspan: 110-130 cm
  • Body mass: 400-800 g
  • grasping foot - Being birds of prey, they have strong feet, which are adapted for seizing prey.
  • tearing beak - The crooked, pointed, sharp beaks, which serve to crush food, are characteristic features of raptors.
  • tail flight feathers (rectrices) - They assist in steering during flight; for this reason they are also called rudder feathers.
  • wing flight feathers (remiges) - They play an important role in flying by increasing the wing surface of birds.

Narration

Western marsh harriers are large birds of prey that live near ponds, shallow waters and dense reedbeds. Their dorsal plumage is dark brown, the belly is chestnut coloured, while the breast is reddish brown with dark stripes. Females are moderately larger than males. These animals fly effortlessly with their light and slender bodies, long wings and tail feathers. They can often be found resting in stacks of reeds or sitting on the ground.

The western marsh harrier is a raptor, or bird of prey. During spring it feeds mainly on the eggs or nestlings of frogs and waterfowl, while during autumn, its primary source of nutrients consists of mice and voles. The marsh harrier catches its prey using its sharp gripping claws, and chops them up with its crooked, pointed beak. The bird’s perfect sense of sight and hearing assist it in capturing its prey.

Marsh harriers typically build their nests in reeds; the nests are made of reeds or bulrushes. Females usually lay 4-5 eggs, which they incubate between April and July. The nestlings hatch from the eggs after 31-32 days and are able to fly in 5-6 weeks.

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