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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Marsh Harrier

Afrikaans name: Afrikaanse Vleivalk

An African Marsh Harrier patrols the grasslands looking for prey

Typical flight of an African Marsh Harrier hunting

Photo © Steven Herbert

Circus ranivorus

The African Marsh Harrier is found over the eastern half of South Africa as well as the southern bits of the country.

It is a streaky brown colour with the females being a bit darker and more rufous.

Harriers hunt by flying low over grasslands or marshlands looking for prey. These birds can grow to 50 cm, weigh 600 grams with a wingspan of up to 1.2 metres.

An African Marsh Harrier patrols the grasslands looking for prey

Photo © Steven Herbert

They are found singly or in pairs.

The African Marsh Harrier breeds in spring and early summer and makes its nest amongst marshy vegetation.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 82

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 135

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 135

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Year Published: 1970 - Page: 78

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Year Published: 1974 - Page: 44

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Year Published: 1974 - Page: 93

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 190

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 84

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 21

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 61

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 59

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 14

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 386

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 47

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 50

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 82

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 182

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 182

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 67

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 110

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 118

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 149

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 144

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Year Published: 1998 - Page: 132

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 104

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 110

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 37

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1979 - Page: 11

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 87

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 54

List of South African Birds

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