Hen harriers are rare residents in the North of the Netherlands while the rest of us must do with winter visits. Hen harriers live in open, humid areas: dunes, swamps, fields and meadows. Striking in all plumages is the white rump that in flight is very distinctive from a Marsh harrier. They eat small mamals and rodents. Also small birds are ocasional preys.

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Wintergast
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Circus
Species: Circus cyaneus
Dutch name: Blauwe kiekendief
Common name: Hen harrier
Location: Beninger polder, Zuidland, The Netherlands

Remarks: Typical winter view. The white rump is very distinctive.Five primaries clearly visible.
Vrouw
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Circus
Species: Circus cyaneus
Dutch name: Blauwe kiekendief
Common name: Hen harrier
Location: Beninger polder, Zuidland, The Netherlands

Remarks: Female-plumage. (Hen harrier females and young males are hard to discern)
Vrouw
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Circus
Species: Circus cyaneus
Dutch name: Blauwe kiekendief
Common name: Hen harrier
Location: Zuidland, The Netherlands

Remarks: Female-plumage. (Hen harrier females and young males are hard to discern)
Vrouw
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Circus
Species: Circus cyaneus
Dutch name: Blauwe kiekendief
Common name: Hen harrier
Location: Zuidland, The Netherlands

Remarks: Female-plumage. (Hen harrier females and young males are hard to discern)
Vrouw
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Circus
Species: Circus cyaneus
Dutch name: Blauwe kiekendief
Common name: Hen harrier
Location: Beninger polder, Zuidland, The Netherlands

Remarks: Female-plumage. (Hen harrier females and young males are hard to discern)


Field characteristics

Like the Marsh harrier the Hen harrier has five primaries of 'fingers'. That makes the wings look less long and look broader than the wings of a Montague harrier or Pallid harrier. Females are brown with characteristical white rump, while males are beautiful blue-ish grey with a white belly. Furthermore males can be distinguished from Montague harriers by the lack of a black stripe on the upperwings.

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