Montagu's Harrier ( Circus pygargus, family: Accipitridae)

montagus harrier kruger national park birds The Montagu's Harrier (Latin name Circus pygargus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 166 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 504 also a picture of the Montagu's Harrier on page 528. The Montagu's Harrier belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae.

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 Montagu's 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 Montagu's Harrier in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Montagu's Harrier : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Montagu's Harrier is a bird about the size of a grey hornbill. The height of the Montagu's Harrier is about 47 cms and its weight is about 370 gms

You will find that the male Montagu's Harrier plumage and colours are different to that of the female Montagu's Harrier

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

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Montagu's Harrier feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly

Smaller animals

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Montagu's Harrier takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Montagu's Harrier is extra limital

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Montagu's Harrier are: grasslands

You can see Montagu's Harrier in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Blouvleivalk (-paddavreter)

German ... Wiesenweihe

Portuguese ... Tartaranho-caador

French ... Busard cendr

Dutch ... Grauwe Kiekendief

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 166

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 ,