Montagu's Harrier
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Clade: Afroaves
Superorder: Accipitrimorphae
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Accipitrinae
Tribe: Accipitrini
Genus: Circus
Lacépède, 1799

A harrier is any of the several species of diurnal hawks in the Accipitrinae sub-family of the Accipitridae family of birds of prey. Harriers characteristically hunt by flying low over open ground, feeding on small mammals, reptiles, or birds.

Most harriers are placed in the genus Circus, the scientific name arising from the circling movements female and male make when courting. Two other harriers are in the genus Polyboroides, the harrier-hawks, which are allopatric (geographically separated) and restricted to the Afrotropic ecozone. The remaining single species forms the monotypic genus Geranospiza.

Species list

Other harrier-like birds

See also

  • Ring-tail harrier, an informal term for the juveniles and females of several harrier species.


  • Ferguson-Lees, Christie, Franklin, Mead, and Burton. Raptors of the World. London: Christopher Helm, 1999. ISBN 0713680261.

External links

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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