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Bird name:

Montagu's Harrier

Circus pygargus

Order

ACCIPITRIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

BTO 2

MO

BTO 5

MONHA

Euring 5

02630
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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

UK Conservation Status


Amber Status

European Conservation Status


Conservation Description


The Montagu's Harrier is a rare summer resident in southern England. It has an "Amber" status because it has a small, localised breeding population.

SUMMARY

Overview

Montagu's Harrier: Long-winged, slim raptor. Grey upperparts, head, and breast with brown highlights on the back. Has black wingtips, a black band in the secondaries, and a white rump. Underparts grey with brown streaks on the belly and a white vent. Dark grey bands on undertail.


Range and Habitat

Montagu's Harrier: Rare summer breeder in England. Visible on passage and during summer breeding months. Breeding grounds stretch across south and east England, though nest areas are kept secret. Winters in Africa. Often found on wetlands near the coast, birds are increasingly breeding on farmland.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kyeh-kyeh-kyeh", "chekk-ekk-ekk-ekk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Named after the early nineteenth century ornithologist Col. George Montagu, the Montagu's harrier is the smallest of Britain's 3 harrier species.
  • It is an extremely rare breeding bird in the UK, and its status is precarious. Each pair needs special protection.
  • Both male and female take part in the courtship display, which consists of various sky-dances and aerobatic figures.
  • A group of harriers are collectively known as a "swarm" or a "harassment" of harriers.

RELATED BIRDS

RANGE MAP


FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
SecondariesX
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
VentX
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.

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ITIS CodesX

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at http://www.itis.gov/advanced_search.html. You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

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Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX