This post includes the final Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) images that I captured last weekend during my Short-Eared Owl photo trip. In today’s post, a female Northern Harrier is actively hunting over the prairie:
Once a potential meal has been spotted, the legs come down and the bird prepares to make a catch:
Just then, a strong wind gust blows the harrier a bit off course (we had wind gusts of over 35 mph that day!):
The bird makes a quick adjustment to prepare for the catch:
However, it was either a false alarm or the potential meal made a clean getaway. The harrier then moves farther out in the prairie to continue hunting!
A juvenile Northern Harrier (as evidenced by the solid, rusty-orange chest) then appeared:
The Northern Harriers are a common inhabitant of Missouri’s prairies, and play a vital role in balancing the prairie environment, not to mention such a beauty to watch and photograph!