Red Shouldered Hawk
A mountain lion pauses on a ledge inside this swirled rock chasm.
Photographer: NORBERT ROSING
I saw a male Northern harrier like this yesterday, while on a bike ride along the river. Harriers are way cool. Their unusual facial “disks” function much the same as an owls’ - they focus sounds to their well-developed ears. Thus, harriers can easily find prey in grasslands by listening.
Another fun fact - harriers are not an eagle, hawk, or a falcon…they form a genetic group of raptors all by themselves.
In the USA, harriers are pretty readily identified versus other raptors by their white rump patch. It is present in both genders and is readily seen at a distance, and no other USA raptors has one.
The northern harrier, or marsh hawk, is typically seen above wetlands and meadows. It eats rodents, small birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
Photo credit: Ken Schneider