Pallid Harrier ( Circus macrourus, family: Accipitridae)

The Pallid Harrier (Latin name Circus macrourus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 167 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 503 also a picture of the Pallid Harrier on page 528. The Pallid Harrier belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Pallid Harrier is also known by these other names: Pale Harrier.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Pallid Harrier is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a rare summer resident

In terms of distribution of the Pallid Harrier in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Pallid Harrier : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Pallid Harrier is a bird about the size of a grey hornbill. The height of the Pallid Harrier is about 48 cms and its weight is about 440 gms

You will find that the male Pallid Harrier plumage and colours are different to that of the female Pallid Harrier

  • Head is grey, white.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Pallid Harrier feeds on the ground, on the wing and in foliage mainly

Smaller animals


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Pallid Harrier takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Pallid Harrier is extra limital

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Pallid Harrier are: grasslands

You can see Pallid Harrier in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ulubisi/Umphungeni

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Witborsvleivalk (-paddavreter)

German ... Steppenweihe

Portuguese ... Tartaranho-plido

French ... Busard ple

Dutch ... Steppekiekendief

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 167

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,