It’s Getting Hairier & Harrier Up In Here

The Mighty Northern Harrier. Street Name: Marsh Hawk
The Mighty Northern Harrier. Street Name: Marsh Hawk. Why so serious all the time?
Skittles The Northern Harrier has been terrorizing the Island lately. But don't worry, he only eats "regular" birds.
Skittles The Northern Harrier has been terrorizing the Island lately. But don’t worry, he only eats “regular” birds.

Kathy Clark from the Endangered & Nongame Species Program in NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, who works closely with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ is a kind soul who patiently answers my inane emails, such as, “Kathy, if I didn’t see a Peregrine Falcon today does that mean I’ll never, ever see one and that migration is over forever?” We should be thankful because she also easily & effortlessly identifies birds from my crappy photos. In this case, the Northern Harrier.

Kathy assures me that these bird eaters are “lovely” birds, and also points out that the white rump patch is the field mark for them.

The tell-tale white striped tail.
The tell-tale white striped rump of the Northern Harrier.
Boo-yaaa!!!!!
Boo-yaaa!!!!!

She also nails the description of Skittles in flight: “Their flight pattern is distinctive, usually flying low and ‘quartering’ the marsh and rocking a little with a V-shape to their wingspan.” Far more accurate than my description… “he was like, flying all over the place, real crazy, killing birds and stuff”

Quartering The Marsh
Quartering The Marsh
It's getting Harrier up in here
It’s getting Harrier up in here