Pallid Harrier

Conservation status

Near Threatened

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Pale Harrier

Native Habitat

Open country


Small mammals, lizards, birds


Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus

The pallid harrier is a migratory bird of prey of the harrier family. It breeds in southern parts of eastern Europe and central Asia (such as Iran) and winters mainly in India and southeast Asia.

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 48 cm long with a wingspan of 120 cm. Males weigh 315 g while the slightly larger females weigh 445 g. 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, pale colour different wing tip pattern.

The female is brown above with white upper tail coverts. 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.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ধলা কাপাসি
  • Gujarati:
    ઉજળી પટ્ટાઇ
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    शबल पत्री ससाणा, पांढूरका भोवत्या
  • Nepali:
    श्वेत भुइँचील
  • Telugu:
    పిల్లి గద్ద
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Circus macrourus