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After the snowy owl yesterday, I drove another mile to where several other cars were parked with people inside pointing their cameras at a bird perched on a rusted guardrail. It was a Northern Harrier, a kind of hawk that migrates from Canada to our area and further south in the winter.

The Northern Harrier flies low while hunting for field mice, voles, or even reptiles and insects. It also perches patiently on a tree branch, or a guardrail, and uses its keen sense of hearing to listen for prey. I have seen it glide gracefully over the marshes, but was never able to photograph its beautiful wings in flight. The one below was immobile, except for its head swerving from left to right, like an owl. It ignored me even as I drove by within 15 ft of it.

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NorthernHarrier_IMG_1170

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