How many harrier subspecies exist?
Definition : what is a harrier ?
Harriers are birds of prey belonging to the family Accipitridae, and more particularly to the genus Buteo. They have broad, rounded wings, a long tail and a hooked bill.
What are the different types of harriers?
There are several types of harriers, the most common of which are the Marsh Harrier (Buteo buteo), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Montagu’s Harrier (Circus pygargus), Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus), and Ptarmigan (Buteo lagopus).
How many subspecies of harrier are there?
There are about 16 subspecies of harriers worldwide, each with its own physical and behavioral characteristics.
Where do harriers live?
Harriers live in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from forests to open plains to wetlands. Some types of harriers, such as the Marsh Harrier, have a preference for wetlands, while others, such as the Montagu’s Harrier, are more often seen in grasslands and fields.
What do harriers eat?
Harriers are carnivorous birds of prey that feed primarily on small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. They can hunt in flight or from a high perch and often use their keen eyesight to locate their prey.
How do harriers hunt?
Harriers hunt primarily by flying in circles over their hunting territory in search of potential prey. Once spotted, they swoop down to catch their prey, or land on the ground or on a perch to catch it in flight.
How to recognize a harrier in flight?
Harriers are relatively large birds, with wingspans ranging from 80 to over 150 cm depending on the species. In flight, they often have a characteristic silhouette, with broad, rounded wings and a long tail.
How big is a harrier?
Harriers vary considerably in size from species to species and subspecies to subspecies, but the largest can reach an overall length of over 60 cm and a wingspan of over 150 cm.
How long does a harrier live?
The life expectancy of harriers varies between species and populations, but is generally between a few years and ten years. Harriers tend to live longer in captivity than in the wild.
Why are harriers threatened?
Harriers are threatened for a variety of reasons, including habitat loss due to urbanization and intensive agriculture, pollution, illegal hunting and direct persecution by humans. Many species of harriers are considered threatened or endangered, making them an important conservation issue.