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The Gray Ghost patrols the plains

During the winter, Northern Harriers are pretty common on the Colorado plains but getting pictures of them is never easy. They don’t sit still for long, are notoriously camera shy and when they fly, they are highly erratic in their paths and very close to the ground.

The male Northern Harrier is nicknamed the Gray Ghost, due to its color and its knack for staying hidden. Historically I haven’t had a lot of luck with getting good captures of them but this winter, for some reason, I have had better luck which is very pleasing to me. Late last month I happened across this one as it zigzagged over a field looking for a meal. That beautiful plumage and those brilliant yellow eyes are just striking.

You’ll find Harriers across much of North America, Europe and Asia depending on the season. Here we call them Northern Harriers but in other spots on the globe they are known as Hen Harriers, Harrier Hawks or Marsh Hawks.

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A male Northern Harrier - the Gray Ghost - patrols the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Northern Harrier – the Gray Ghost – patrols the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

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