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paula_primrose ...
paula_primrose valley's picture

Hi, I've got this bird hanging around my front paddock and have received various views on identification.  Spotted harrier seems to be the general consensus but have had a few other suggestions.  Would appreciate views!


WendyK's picture

Another option is the Red Goshawk but they're the rarest raptor in the country so lucky you if it is.  The field guide shows their territory from the northern tip of WA, across NT and down east coast of Queensland to border NSW-ish.  I may be talking myself out of that one though because apparently they look "6 fingered" as they fly and they are found in wooded areas.

Spotteds hunt over grasslands/crops, flying just a few meters above while listening/looking for small rodents/birds/reptiles.

Good set of photos!  The more knowledgeable amongst us should be able to tell right off from those.

Mandurah, WA
Peel-Yalgorup System Ramsar Site


paula_primrose ...
paula_primrose valley's picture


There is a densely wooded ridge that runs along the length of the valley, which is a couple of hundred metres from our boundary.  We're 30 minutes outside ACT, so sounds as though we're well out of range for the red goshawk.

The bird has been here for a week, so hope to get some more pics this weekend - which I can do sitting on the porch because it is tracking back and forth along the paddock :)  We have a semi-permanent watercourse that runs the length of the property (~1km) so heaps of frogs and also lots of quail (and rabbits!).  My bantam chooks are unhappy as free ranging has been curtailed.

Perhaps it's nesting nearby?

paula_primrose ...
paula_primrose valley's picture

Another angle..

Owen1's picture

Definitely a Spotted Harrier mate.

Cheers, Owen.

paula_primrose ...
paula_primrose valley's picture

Great, thanks! 

Woko's picture

That patrolling behaviour over open farm land with nearby tree cover is typical of spotted harriers, Paula. Love your shots with the bird in its habitat.

dna1972's picture

Spotted Harrier for sure. they are the prettiest Australian BOPs in my opinion. :)

ScottTas's picture

Great pics. What a great BOP to have in your 'front yard' ;) I partially agree with dna1972 re Spotted Harriers being the lookers of the bunch, although I'm quite partial to our White-phase Grey Goshawks too :)



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