Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reunion Harrier

Circus maillardi
Like many of the birds found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, the Reunion Harrier is a threatened species. Listed as engandered by the IUCN, this bird of prey is found only on that one island, and only around 500 birds remain. They are the only raptor that breeds on the island.

Reunion Harrier are members of the family Accipitridae, which contains the Hawks and Eagles of the world. Males are dark, almost black in coloration, with lighter underparts. Females are actually larger than the males, and are more brown in color.

During the breeding season, males perform aerial displays and make a series of calls in order to attract a mate. Once a partner has been found, a nest is built in tall, forested areas.

Reunion Harriers once lived off birds and insects, but the human introduction of rats and other rodents has caused those to be added to their diet as well.

Reunion Harriers are protected on their native island, but poaching and loss of breeding grounds have continued to pose threats.

IUCN Status : Endangered
Location : Reunion Island
Size : Body length 20in (51cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Falconiformes (
Family : Accipitridae -- Genus : Circus -- Species : C. maillardi

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