Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) - Wiki
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[Photo] Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) adult in front, young at rear. Source: newzealandantiqueprints (www.newzealandantiqueprints.co.nz/gallery/birds/buller2.html). Date 1888. Author Buller, Walter Lawry, Birds of New Zealand, 2nd edition. J.G.Keulemans delt & lith, printed by Judd & Co., 1888. Original title:New Zealand Harrier (Adult & Young), Circus Gouldi.
The Swamp Harrier, Circus approximans, also known as the Marsh Harrier, Australasian Harrier or Swamp-hawk, is a large, slim bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.
Largely dark brown colouring, which becomes lighter with age, with a distinct white rump. Hunts by flying slowly, low to the ground, on upswept wings. Body length 50-60 cm, wingspan 120-145 cm. Recorded weights of adults range from 580-1100 g. Females are significantly larger.
Distribution and habitat
The Swamp Harrier is widespread through Australasia and many islands in the south-west Pacific region, including much of Australia (except the arid region), New Zealand, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. It is usually found in wetlands and well-watered open country.
The Swamp Harrier mainly feeds on ground birds and waterbirds, rabbits and other small mammals, reptiles, frogs and fish. It also known to feed on carrion where available, including roadkill.
This species nests on the ground, often in swamps, on a mound in reeds or other dense vegetation. The clutch size may range from 2-7, but is usually 3-4. The incubation period is about 33 days, with chicks fledging about 45 days after hatching.
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