Western Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

(C. a. aeruginosus)

Armenian Name: Ճահճային մկնաճուռակ
Western Marsh Harrier

See Plate 10 for Western Marsh Harrier and other similar species

Resident Status: Year-round resident
Abundance: Uncommon
Length:48-56 cm, Wing Span:115-130 cm
Distribution Map: Map 39.
Description: Long broad wings, long unbarred tail, and dark rump.
Adult: Male is dark red-brown with gray flight feathers and black wingtips; gray tail. Female is dark brown overall with light crown, throat, and leading edge of wing.
Juvenile: Like female but more red-brown with slightly darker head and nape.
Immature: Immature male shows less gray on wings and tail than adult.
Similar Species: At a distance, females may be mistaken for Black Kite or Booted Eagle, but differ from both by entirely dark primaries and lack of pale upperwing bar.
Behavior: Hunts slowly near ground with wings raised; drops on prey from short distance above.
Habitat: Ponds, lakes, marshes. Widespread on migration.
Food: Small animals, insects.
Nest: Solitary; platform of reeds in marsh vegetation.
Eggs: 50 mm, 3-8, bluish- or greenish-white.