Friday, May 16, 2008

Northern Harriers

The northern harriers are back, soaring over open fields as they look for mice and other small animals to eat. In theory, these hawks are in our area all year, but I only see them in the warmer months so they are a sign of summer to me. They love the broad grasslands of central Montana where they can hang above the fields for hours, rolling and diving like a roller coaster. Their easiest distinguishing mark, besides their hunting style, is the white rump that can be seen when they tip sideways in a turn (if you can see white from below, it is a rough-legged hawk, which has white at the top of its tail and hunts much the same territory).

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