Trossachs Bird of Prey Trail , The Trossachs, Stirling, GB
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Hen Harrier


    When is it here? Winter only

    How easy is it to see? They’re not a common bird, but if you stay in the right area for long enough, you stand a good chance of catching sight of one.

    Copyright RSPB

    How big is it? Medium-large

    What colour is it? Males are a distinctive steely grey colour with black wing tips. Females and juvenile males are brown with a white band at the top of the tail, and a owl-type face.

    What might I confuse it with? The females can be confused with buzzards. Males may be confused for gulls.

    Where are they? They are mostly confined to the Carse of Stirling, particularly the area surrounding Flanders Moss.

    What are they normally doing? Hen harriers hunt using a behaviour called ‘quartering’. They fly backwards and forwards across a field looking for prey, and usually fly fairly low to the ground (about 5 – 6 feet). You may see one doing this, or crossing the road as they pass from one field to the next.

    Hen harriers roost communally in the winter, and can sometimes be seen gathering together as the sun goes down on cold winter nights.