Wednesday, July 22, 2015


This appears to be a group of singing baby birds but it's not. These are Northern Harrier chicks ranging in age from about eight to 16 days old. And they are all threatening me as I got close. They also range in weight from 6.9 to 14.1 ounces. This is because they hatch in the order the eggs were laid and that was two or more days apart.

Unfortunately their ground nest was destroyed by a swather and altho their parents were in the area, the babies would have to have been moved about 100 yards away from the original nest site. At that distance I wasn't sure if the adults would continue to take care of them because they would be disturbed again when the ranchers started baling the cut hay.

These birds are amazing to watch as they hunt small rodents. They fly close to the ground floating back and forth looking for a meal. And they are also not hawks but a group all their own. The adult females and young birds are brown, the adult males are grey.

These babies will be taken back to the LU Ranch south of Meeteetse for release as that is obviously a wonderful habitat for them. Thanks to Barb Love for meeting me at the rest area last night to save me some driving.

1 comment:

  1. Harriers are such wonderful birds. Sometimes we have them around our house, and I always love seeing them. Good luck on raising the youngsters, and getting them back to a safe, and perfect habitat.