Harrier is the name given to the species of diurnal hawks. These birds of prey are in the Accipitridae family. Harriers average around 20 inches long and live in habitats where rodents and other small animals live. The typical Harrier diet consists of other small birds, insects, small rodents, and snakes.
Harrier couples lay about a half dozen dull-whitish or bluish eggs and nest in dry parts of marshes and tall grasses where their eggs and chicks are protected from predators. The most common harrier is the marsh hawk or hen harrier in the U.K. Harriers like to patrol their territory and swoop in low to strike.
The name harrier has pop-cultural meaning due to some highly-rated Hollywood movies. Many readers might have thought of the military jet aircraft when they read “harrier.” The Harrier Jump Jet is a Marine Corp. jet aircraft capable of vertical takeoff. The name came from how a harrier looks as it jumps on top of its prey.
There are many birds on the watching menu for birdwatchers. Harriers are certainly up there in popularity, notably because of their way of hunting. One remarkable aspect of bird watching for harriers is the likelihood you’ll see one or even two of them. This is a testament to how well harriers have adapted to human areas.