Jul 25 2016
This summer Steve Gosser spent a lot of time at Piney Tract in Clarion County photographing a family of northern harriers. The harriers nested there because it’s one of their preferred habitats and one of the few grasslands in western Pennsylvania.
Though they’re birds of prey, northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) nest on the ground. The male harrier usually does all the hunting, then transfers the food to his mate in an aerial prey exchange. The female takes the prey to the nest and feeds the young but she’s sneaky about it so she doesn’t give away the nest location.
Throughout their nesting season Steve was able to photograph them from his car window without disturbing them. He captured their prey exchanges and aerial maneuvers though he never saw the nest. Later he learned that they fledged three chicks.
Read about the harriers and see Steve’s beautiful photos at his blog post: A Summer Watching the Harriers at Piney Tract.
See all of Steve’s work at his new website, gosserphotos.com
A note to my European readers: The northern harrier is the same species as the hen harrier in Europe.
(photo by Steve Gosser)