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Hen and Marsh Harrier

Circus cyaneus and Circus aeruginosus

Passage migrants (Hen Harrier is rare)

Both found at Neolithic WF16

While both the Hen and Marsh Harriers will inhabit flat farmland and marshes, the Marsh Harrier prefers marshy environments, while the Hen Harrier sticks to more open country. Both are passage migrants through Wadi Faynan, but they tend to migrate at different times.

Hen Harriers will travel south between August and October, returning north between March and May, while Marsh Harriers will leave the north in September and October and make their return journey in March and April. Often the Hen Harrier is seen gathering at roosts in numbers of ten or more, despite generally hunting alone.

A leg bone from either a Hen or a Pallid Harrier found at WF16 that has been burnt in a Neolithic fireplace
A bone from the torso of a Marsh Harrier found at WF16

Image credit: ‘Hen Harrier’ by Imran Shah via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0;

Image credit: ‘Marsh Harrier’ by Fares Khoury from Jordan BirdWatch