RICHARD A. KING WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY 
       The Marsh Hawks of  Barnegat Bay 
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CLICK BELOW FOR SOME OF MY BEST SHOTS
TAKEN OVER 13 YRS. OF A SINGLE GROUP
OF NORTHERN HARRIERS 



The Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus)
The true raptor of the Barnegat Bay  


 Of all the species on this site, there's none I've spent more time photographing (and studying) than this unique raptor.  Being the only hawk I know of that spends it's entire seasonal life cycle on the lower Barnegat Bay, I've watched them in mating rituals, fledging their young, mantling,  fighting, and even copulating The photos you'll see here were taken over a span of many years of a single group with  one male and several females and the juveniles they produced.   
#0 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male & female
Left-Female to 24"                 Right-Male to 20"
Composite made up of 2 separate shots in the same place on different days

I doubt there's anyone 
 #1 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male

This young male  was my first photo op of this beautiful species, and the patriarch of a group of marsh hawk that began an intense relationship that has lasted almost 15 yrs.
#2 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male
The
#3 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male
#4 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male
My last good photo taken almost 14 Years after shot # 1

  

# 5 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) female (Mantling)

With females far outnumbering males ( the many shots of the male I believe to be the same individual ) it's fairly common to see them protecting their "kill" by the phenomenon of  "mantling" which is mostly a bluff.

1. The Northern Harrier
#6 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) female
mantling
#7 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  female
mantling
# 8 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) female
But at times of low prey populations (February) actual fighting does occur.
# 9 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male
Nested right on the marsh, and amid a large flock of fish crows no less.
# 10 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male
Also seemed to have at least 2 nests with different mates.
#11 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  fledgeling
Fledged their young around the end of July, moving them away from the nest as they taught them to hunt.  The image of this juv. was  taken in early Nov.
#12 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  Juv.
This is how she looked by early March.
#13 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  Juv.
Juveniles can be distinguished by their dark eye, and deep rufus color.
( Adults have a bright yellow eye )
#14 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  Male Dec.
Though many will stay through Dec, some, mostly juveniles, will stay through winter.
#15 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Male Dec.

# 16 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) female Juv.
#17 The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) female
A former cover picture in New Jersey Outdoors

 Photos, Note Cards and Greeting Cards

of the
Barnegat Bay
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