Eastern Marsh Harrier

It is 48 to 58 cm long with a wingspan of 113 to 137 cm; like most birds of prey, the female is usually larger than the male. The male's plumage is variable; typically the head, breast, back and wing-coverts are blackish with pale streaks. The rest of the wing is grey with black wingtips and a white front edge. The tail is grey, the rump is white and the underparts are mostly white. The female is dark brown with buff streaking on the head and underparts. The rump is often whitish and the tail has dark bars. Young birds are dark brown with buff on the head and a pale patch on the underwing.

The Eastern Marsh Harrier is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Eastern Marsh Harrier (Circus spilonotus) is a bird of prey belonging to the marsh harrier group of harriers. It was previously considered to be conspecific with the Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) but is now usually classified as a separate species. It has two subspecies: C. s. spilonotus in eastern Asia and C. s. spilothorax (Papuan Harrier, perhaps a separate species) in New Guinea. More

The Eastern Marsh Harrier is a fairly large (M 48 cm; F 58 cm) raptor which is quite variable in plumage. Males are blackish above with white mottling, a black and white streaked head (sometimes all black), darker on the face, and whitish underparts streaked with black; the tail is gray. In flight, the wings are mostly gray above, with black outer primaries, and the rump bears a white patch. The larger female is brown overall, lighter on the head and belly, with heavy streaking. More

The Eastern Marsh Harrier has been reclassified & is now treated as a distinct species, (Circus spilonotus). Marsh Harriers live in large and dense reedbeds around lakes, marshes & rivers with a strong preference for shallow waters with dense vegetation. They are mainly ground nesting. Marsh harriers are unusual in diurnal raptors in that they have very good hearing with something of a facial disc similar to the owls. More

Order : Falconiformes
Family : Accipitridae
Genus : Circus
Species : spilonotus
Authority : Kaup, 1847