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Species Guide
A photo of a Pied Harrier (Circus melanoleucos), male
Pied Harrier, Male

Pied Harrier

Circus melanoleucos

The pied harrier (Circus melanoleucos) is a captivating bird of prey, medium in stature, with a length of 45 cm (18 inches) and a wingspan of 115 cm (46 inches). Its striking plumage sets it apart from other raptors.

Identification Tips

This species exhibits sexual dimorphism. The male is predominantly grey with black wingtips, while the female and juveniles are brown with a distinct white rump and a barred tail.


The pied harrier favors open landscapes and is commonly found nesting in the steppes and their adjacent wetlands.


A migratory bird, the pied harrier breeds in the Amur valley of eastern Russia, northeastern China, and North Korea. Come winter, it disperses across a broad range, from Pakistan to the Philippines.


During the winter months, the pied harrier is often observed gracefully hunting above rice paddies and marshes, showcasing its agility and prowess.

Conservation status

With an estimated population of around 10,000 individuals, the pied harrier is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, the numbers are believed to be experiencing a moderate decline.

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Pied Harriers on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Debojyoti Chakraborty
17 Feb 2024 - 2:30am

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