Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus (SG Gmelin, 1770) HI PALHA 2620
Family: Accipitriformes > Accipitridae

Pallid Harrier, I A Ashworth

Similar to but paler than a Hen Harrier, with fewer black primaries, this is a very rare visitor from eastern Europe.

Most records concern juveniles seen in autumn and some remain through winter. Identification is complicated by the presence of Hen×Pallid Harrier hybrids.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Pallid Harrier

  • Breeding
  • Winter
2.4k records observations recorded by BTO surveyors
2.4k records



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Identifying grey harriers

Harriers are stunning, lithe and elegant birds of prey. Two species of grey harrier are regularly found in the UK, Hen and Montagu's - the males are relatively easy to separate, but the females and young birds can be more tricky.

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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


This species is a rare vagrant and was recorded during Bird Atlas 2007–11 as shown on the map.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


This vagrant is too rarely reported to map distribution change.


Pallid Harrier is a rare vagrant, mostly recorded in autumn and winter.

Weekly occurence of Pallid Harrier from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.

An overview of year-round movements for the whole of Europe can be seen on the EuroBirdPortal viewer.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Pallid Harrier ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Pallid Harrier, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Bod Llwydwyn
Catalan: arpella pàl·lida russa
Czech: moták stepní
Danish: Steppehøg
Dutch: Steppekiekendief
Estonian: stepi-loorkull
Finnish: arosuohaukka
French: Busard pâle
German: Steppenweihe
Hungarian: fakó rétihéja
Icelandic: Fölheiðir
Italian: Albanella pallida
Latvian: (stepes lija), garastes lija
Lithuanian: stepine linge
Norwegian: Steppehauk
Polish: blotniak stepowy
Portuguese: tartaranhão-pálido
Slovak: kana stepná
Slovenian: stepski lunj
Spanish: Aguilucho papialbo
Swedish: stäpphök

Links to more information from

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