The Harrier returns

The harrier returns to our garden. No peace now for the smaller birds.

It has been gone for  the summer, must have been further north.

We got a horrible crash against our window, while reading the paper.  We looked out to see the blue jays scattering and heading for the thorn bush, which is good protection for small birds against predators.  One blue jay was stunned on the ground but stayed still.  We soon saw the cause: the harrier had returned and was looking for lunch.

It didn’t see the stunned one on the ground but tried to catch the others in the thorn bush but couldn’t get near enough.

There was another aerial chase but the birds got away, in spite of the amazing acrobatics from the harrier. It can turn very quickly for its size.  It is quite small for a hawk, the others are much bigger, so I think the blue jays could put up quite a fight.

I didn’t have time to change shutter speed so the images are a bit blurred but not too bad:

Northern Harrier 1
Northern Harrier 1
Northern Harrier 2
Northern Harrier 2
Northern Harrier in flight
Northern Harrier in flight

The flight is through a high bush cranberry – no thorns but still quite thick and difficult to fly through but the harrier manages it.

Author: Eric Lawton

Eric is a natural philosopher living in rural Ontario

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