Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Circus macrourus

Name:  Pallid Harrier

    Local Names:
  • Bengali     ধলা কাপাসি
  • Gujarati     ઉજળી પટ્ટાઇ
  • Malayalam     മേടുതപ്പി
  • Marathi     शबल पत्री ससाणा, पांढूरका भोवत्या
  • Nepali     श्वेत भुइँचील
  • Telugu     పిల్లి గద్ద
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The pallid harrier is a small bird, measuring 40 to 50 cm in length and weighing 230 to 400 grams. The female harrier is slightly larger and weighs 400 to 550 grams. The wingspan is 100 to 120 cm. The males and females have different distinct plumages. The male harrier is whitish grey on the upper parts and white on underparts. The wingtips are black. The female has brown upper parts with white upper tail coverts.

Size in cm:

40-48 cm

Size in Inch

16-19 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

gray   (Bird may have more colors)


The pallid harrier feeds on small mammals like rats and mice, birds, reptiles, frogs and large insects

Habit and habited:

The pallid harrier inhabits open plains, bogs and heathland. It winters in open country.


Not much is known about their calls and sounds.

Bird Type:

Birds of Prey


The pale or pallid harrier (Circus macrourus) is a migratory bird of prey of the harrier family. The scientific name is derived from the Ancient Greek. Circus is from kirkos, referring to a bird of prey named for its circling flight (kirkos, "circle"), probably the hen harrier and macrourus is "long-tailed", from makros, "long" and -ouros "-tailed".

It breeds in southern parts of eastern Europe and central Asia (such as Iran) and winters mainly in India and southeast Asia. It is a very rare vagrant to Great Britain and western Europe, although remarkably a juvenile wintered in Norfolk in the winter of 2002/2003. In 2017 a pair of pallid harriers nested in a barley field in the Netherlands; they raised four chicks.

This medium-sized raptor breeds on open plains, bogs and heathland. In winter it is a bird of open country.

This is a typical harrier, with long wings held in a shallow V in its low flight. It also resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumages. Adults measure 40–48 cm (16–19 in) long with a wingspan of 95–120 cm (37–47 in). Males weigh 315 g (11.1 oz) while the slightly larger females weigh 445 g (15.7 oz). The male is whitish grey above and white below, with narrow black wingtips. It differs from the hen harrier in its smaller size, narrower wings, paler colour, and different wing tip pattern. The female is brown above with white upper tail coverts, hence females and the similar juveniles are often called "ringtails". Her underparts are buff streaked with brown. It is best distinguished from the female hen harrier on structure. It is very similar to the female Montagu's harrier, but has darker and more uniform secondaries from below.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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