A Harrier (generic name Circus) is any of several species of diurnal birds of prey which fly low over meadows and marshes and hunt or harry small animals or birds (hence their common name). The generic scientific name arises from also from the slow circling for prey.
The Northern Hemisphere species are:
The American Northern Harrier
is also known as the Marsh Hawk
. It is usually classed as conspecific with the Hen Harrier
, but is sometimes considered a separate species.
South African species are:
- Western Marsh-Harrier or Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
- African Marsh-Harrier (Circus ranivorus)
- Black Harrier (Circus maurus)
- Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)
- Montague's Harrier (Circus pygargus)
- Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis)
- Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), sometimes also called the New Zealand Harrier, see Marsh Harrier
For genus Polyboroides see harrier-hawks
For genus Geranospiza see Crane hawk