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Kentucky Color: Northern Harrier
Click on headline for essay with photo(s)
By Billy Joe Fudge, Retired District Forester
Kentucky Division of Forestry
Several years ago I posted a photo of a Northern Harrier hunting off North KY 55 in the Green River Commerce Park. This one was hunting a weed field at the intersection of North Johnson Schoolhouse Road and KY 704.
Northern Harriers hunt by sound rather than sight. They float, dart and maneuver just feet and sometimes inches above the grass or in this case weeds.
They change direction and altitude continually in an effort to silently peer through ground cover with hearing keen enough to rival the most modern radar or heat detecting missile technology.
This maneuver, I've observed, is usually performed by Harriers preceding a 180 degree change in direction. They rise up, fold their long silent wings and dive back down to hunting height effectively doubling back to check for telltale sounds in the grass. - Billy Joe Fudge
This story was posted on 2013-03-28 04:57:39
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