Marsh Harrier Bird Population In Andalucia On The Increase
According to the Junta de Andalucia - A total of 693 Marsh harrier nests have been recorded this nesting season. That is the second highest recording of nests since 2004.
The findings are a big boost for the Junta, which has been working with ecologists, volunteers and farmers to bolster the numbers of the bird, most commonly found in the south of Cadiz.
Teams have carried out a number of measure to increase the population, including leaving trees near nests untouched, delaying ploughing until the chicks have grown, moving the nests to safer places and rescuing chicks.
The birds can be found in all Andalucian provinces bar Almeria, with Sevilla home to the largest population overall.
You can see these birds in Grazalema and the Sierra Nevada on all our guided and self guided walking holidays in Andalucia, Spain.
The Marsh Harrier
The western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), often simply called the marsh harrier, breeds widely across Europe and Asia. It is migratory except in the mildest regions, and winters mainly in Africa. It hunts small mammals, frogs, fish, insects and birds, surprising them as it drifts low over fields and reedbeds. Its long legs allow it to pluck frogs and fish from the water mid-swoop. The western marsh harrier is a typical harrier, with long wings held in a shallow V in its low flight. It also resembles other harriers in having distinct male and female plumages, but its plumages are quite different from those of its relatives. The male has wings with grey and brown sections and black wingtips. Its head, tail and underparts are greyish, except for the chestnut belly. The female is mainly brown with a cream crown and cream leading edge to her wings. It is 19-22 inches long and weighs 1-2 lbs