Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Finding And Photographing The Pallid Harrier

Here are some tip tips on finding and photographing the pallid harrier with Eschenbach binoculars.

| Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

Finding And Photographing The Pallid Harrier : Pallid harrier


Pallid Harriers can cope with the most inhospitable regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. However, this lightly built raptor spends the winter further south.



The pallid harrier appears slender and agile with its very long and narrow wings and tail. The males are very similar to male hen harriers; Their plumage is light-grey with black wingtips and a bright underside. Females look almost identical to females Montagu’s harrier. They are dark brown in colour and have a distinct dotted pattern on the underside as well as a barred tail.



The pallid harrier feels comfortable in steppe areas, more precisely in those of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They mainly breed in Kazakhstan and Asiatic Russia with small populations breeding in Ukraine, Turkey and Romania.

During winter, however, it gets a little too cold even for these robust birds of prey. From September they move to Burma in Southeast Asia, India and sub-Saharan Africa.


Behaviour and interesting facts

Pallid harriers essentially feed on small rodents like voles or susliks. They hunt by flying quite close to the ground and catching their prey by surprise. They also hunt smaller birds like young larks and pippits and will even grab lizards or large insects when food is scarce.

The female does most of the work on the nest. It is built on the ground with straw and grass under the protection of shrubs or high grass. The female lays three to six eggs and incubates them alone for a month. After hatching, the female will take care of the chicks while the male hunts and provides food. Later, the chicks are fed by both parents and leave the nest after approximately 40 days. They’ll stay with their parents for 3 more weeks before becoming fully independent.

The pallid harrier is the most endangered species among the European harrier mainly because of pesticide use and conversion of its habitat into arable agriculture.


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