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Marsh Harrier
Circus aeruginosus

Map of the common names


It is the bigger harrier (L 55 cm) of the four species living in the EU. The male has dark head and back, grey wings and tail. The female is larger than the male and has dark brown with pale nape and shoulders. The species is tied to larger reedbeds of lagoons, rivers or ponds. Feeds mostly on small birds, small mammals and reptiles. Migrant.

Watercolour by Serge Nicolle

Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I

The Marsh Harrier has suffered a step decline between 1970 and 1990. The main threats for the species are the loss of wetlands and burning of surrounding vegetation as well as hunting and water pollution.

Distribution map

yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor

Population : 10,000 / 15,000 pairs

Drawing by Manuel Manolos

back to list of threatened species