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Marsh Harrier

Irish: Clamhán Móna nó Cromán Móna
Latin: Circus aeruginosus

Large harrier with slim body, relatively narrow wings and long tail. Soars with wings in shallow 'V'. Adult male is very distinct with striking colours (grey, black and brown) on upperwings and upperbody very apparent. Female is dark brown with creamy white crown, throat and forewing.

Traditionally found over reedbeds on the edges of Ireland's once common wetlands. Also hunts over marginal and arable farmland, bogs, fens and marshes.

Eats birds such as Moorhens and Coot, young ducks and waders, small passerines, young Rabbits and rodents.

Nests in reed beds on swampy ground in shallow water. Can nest on arable ground amongst cereal crops. Lays down a pile or platform of reeds and sedges and grasses are used to line the nest. 4-6 eggs are laid in late April-June and incubated for 33-36 days and the chicks remain in the nest for 35-38 days.

Became extinct in Ireland as a breeding species in 1917. However annual sightings of adult birds in suitable breeding areas in Ireland indicate that it is likely to recolonise Ireland in the near future.