Friday, December 31, 2010

Northern Harrier Breeding in December

Northern Harrier maleNorthern Harrier, formerly known as Marsh Hawk are found throughout North America,in various habitat, usually marsh, fields, or other open area.In early December ,2010  I was giving a bird walk and  we observed a Male Norther n Harrier interact with 2 coyotes. The Harrier would land near the coyotes and when they came too close, it would fly up, and relocate just close enough to keep them interested. He  moved the coyotes away from a perched female, which was vocalizing. The male flew to the female , they copulated , then he returned to coyotes. Copulation occurred 4 times in 15 minutes, in between leading the coyotes away from the female. Since then I  have observed copulation on two other occasions, all in the same area that Northern Harriers nested in during the normal breeding season of 2009 and 2010- April, May, June.

Leading coyote away from the female
Female Northern Harrier

Female #1 territory

Female  Northern Harrier #1

No comments:

Post a Comment