African Marsh-Harrier | Circus ranivorus

Robert's Bird Of Prey Information: African Marsh Harrier

The African Marsh-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 African Marsh-Harrier (Latin name Circus ranivorus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Circus ranivorus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 165 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 501. You will find a picture of the African Marsh-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 African Marsh-Harrier between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The African Marsh-Harrier is known in Afrikaans as Afrikaanse Vleivalk(Paddavreter).

The African Marsh-Harrier has a height of 49 cms and weighs around 430 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured grey. The Circus ranivorus has a white, brown coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

The male Circus ranivorus 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 brown.

Eyes are yellow.

Bill is grey.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is white, brown.

Back is brown.

African Marsh Harrier Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

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 African Marsh-Harrier uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

African Marsh Harrier Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Marsh-Harrier is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 5 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.

The African Marsh-Harrier is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The African Marsh-Harrier is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The African Marsh-Harrier is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.