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6

Juvenile Spotted Harrier defending itself to hunt for food

(Circus assimilis)
Alternate name(s): "Jardine's Harrier", "Allied Harrier"; misnomers: "Spotted Swamp-hawk", "Smoke Hawk"
Size: 50-60 cm; wing span 1.2-1.45 m
Weight: 610 g (average)

In March 2021 a juvenile Spotted Harrier was observed having to defend itself against various attackers over the course of just half an hour in a bid to hunt for prey above a paddock. In addition to the species shown here, the bird was also under attack from a Black-shouldered Kite and an Australian Magpie. All photos on this page are courtesy of V. Collins.

First fight: Spotted Harrier, above, vs Brown Falcon (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

The Brown Falcon, although being the one to pick a fight, often ended up under the Spotted Harrier with its superior wing lift at low velocities (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Second fight: Spotted Harrier, above, vs. Little Eagle (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Second fight: Spotted Harrier, above, vs. Little Eagle (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

The Spotted Harrier needed to climb first to engage the Little Eagle (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Spotted Harrier vs. Little Eagle (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Spotted Harrier vs. Little Eagle - and then someone else wanted a piece of the action, a Nankeen Kestrel
(photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Spotted Harrier vs. Little Eagle and Nankeen Kestrel (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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