BIRD 6

Bird Watching (UK) - - March Id Challenge -

And it would be churl­ish not to fin­ish with a bit of a stinker. You can’t even re­ally see the head, let alone the bill, on this fly­ing rap­tor. But there are enough fea­tures to get some­where with its iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. It is a broad­winged bird of prey with ob­vi­ous ‘fin­gered’ pri­maries. The wings are largely dark­ish brown and the long tail is clearly barred with darker and paler brown bands. The rump is a strik­ing white square. This rump is a key fea­ture here, show­ing this bird is not an Ac­cip­iter but is rather a ‘ring­tail’ har­rier. There are three species which show this tail pat­tern, Hen, Monatgu’s and Pal­lid Har­ri­ers. With a view like this, the best way to tell them apart is the num­ber of prom­i­nent pri­mary fin­gers in the wing. That there are five fin­gers show­ing, with a long out­er­most one, is enough to con­firm this bird is a Hen Har­rier.

KEY FEA­TURES

†Fin­gered wings and long tail †Square white rump †Fin­ger num­ber points to this be­ing a Hen Har­rier

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