Harriers consume a wide variety of prey from insects to small rodents. Photographs of harriers clicked across India can be a rich source of information to analyze their diet.

Harrier diet

Harriers consume a variety of diet ranging from grasshoppers, lizards to small birds.

The harrier watch program, at ATREE is planning to involve citizens, especially nature photographers who can contribute to the understanding of the diet of wintering harriers in India. While documenting the diet of the harriers from its pellets and visual observations we found that there is variation in the diet over the wintering period. Pellets usually contain feathers, hair, bones, scales, and exoskeleton of insets. We need to confirm this further, based on photographs taken by people across the country over the years. This information will also be corroborated with our work on regurgitated harrier pellet analysis of the different harrier species. Put together we hope to get a fairly good idea of harrier’s diet while they are wintering in India.

As part of the work, we are interested in looking at the diet of Montagu’s, Pallid and Eurasian Marsh Harriers using photographs taken across India. It would really be helpful if you could share photographs of the above mentioned harriers with their prey including the location and date at which the photo was taken.

The request for images is only for helping us know our harriers better that would ultimately help in their conservation. Prior permission will be sought if we need to publish any of your images. We would also ensure that the results of this research work will be duly shared with all the contributors and contributions will be duly acknowledged.

Please share your photographs on the following e-mail id: You can read more about the project from the following links:

Harrier pellets collected from roosts

Cataloguing & comparing pellet contents after dissection

Pallid Harrier with rodent prey

Photo: Mohanram Kemparaju

Large grasshoppers are common prey for Montagu's harriers