Swamp Harrier (species: Circus approximans) in Crowdy Bay NP (Gaia Guide)
Circus approximans
Swamp Harrier

©J.J. Harrison: Adult male Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)

©Wayne Butterworth: Immature Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)

©Chris: Fledgling Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Circus
Species Circus approximans
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It is largely dark brown, becoming lighter with age, and has a distinct white rump. It hunts by flying slowly, low to the ground, on upswept wings. (Wikipedia)


  • From 55 cm to 61 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Females
  • From 50 cm to 57 cm (Length of specimen) - applies to Males


  • From 120 cm to 145 cm


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is widespread through Australasia and many islands in the south-west Pacific region, including much of Australia (except the arid region), New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. It is usually found in wetlands and well-watered open country. (Wikipedia)

Local abundance

  • Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand: abundant


It mainly feeds on ground birds and waterbirds, rabbits and other small mammals, reptiles, frogs and fish. During the Winter months it feeds to a large extent on carrion, including roadkill. (Wikipedia)

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