Northern Harrier

Species Name: Circus cyaneus

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Species Distribution in Massachusetts


Federal Rank: None

Massachusetts State Rank: Threatened

Habitat Description

Wet meadows, grasslands, abandoned fields, and coastal and inland marshes, mostly along the coast. Are only present in Massachusetts during the breeding season (Summer).

Threats to Survival

Destruction of suitable habitat by reforestation of agricultural land and destruction of coastal and freshwater wetlands. In coastal areas, human disturbance may cause some Harriers to abandon their nests. Prey abundance, prolonged periods of rain, and predation on eggs and nestlings all affect the breeding success of Northern Harriers.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

Protect suitable habitats from development and destruction.