Pallid Harrier | Circus macrourus

Robert's Bird Of Prey Information: Pallid Harrier

The Pallid Harrier is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the Pallid Harrier (Latin name Circus macrourus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Circus macrourus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 167 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 503. You will find a picture of the Pallid Harrier on page 528.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Pallid Harrier between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Pallid Harrier is known in Afrikaans as Witborsvleivalk (-paddavreter).

The Pallid Harrier has a height of 48 cms and weighs around 440 gms. The head is coloured grey, white while the bill is coloured black. The Circus macrourus has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Circus macrourus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey, white.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is white.

Back is brown.

Pallid Harrier Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Pallid Harrier is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

The Circus macrourus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Pallid Harrier uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Pallid Harrier Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Pallid Harrier is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.