Raptor Population Index

Trend Graphs | Trend Maps | Methodology | Participating Sites | Species Assessments |

  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Swainson's Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Mississippi Kite
  • Plumbeous Kite

Species Assessment:
Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

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The 10-year migration count trends for Northern Harrier suggest stable or decreasing populations across North America with 56% of sites showing no statistically significant changes and 43% showing decreases in counts during this period. The decreasing counts with only one exception are in the East Region (see pie charts and trend maps below).

The 20-year count trends (not shown) similarly show stable populations except in the East where 13 of 18 trends are decreasing (Central Region: 2 stable; East Region: 7 stable, 19 decrease; Gulf Region: 5 stable; West Region: 5 stable, 1 increase). In particular, both the 10-year and 20-year trends are decreasing at Cape May, New Jersey, the site with the highest counts of Northern Harrier. Conversely, winter survey data from the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) show mostly stable 10-year trends continent-wide and in the Eastern Region, as 46 of 64 states and provinces, including 23 of 30 in the Eastern Region, show no statistically significant changes.

The Northern Harrier is a species of conservation concern primarily due to loss of grassland habitat. More research is needed to understand the observed declines in migration counts in the East.

Northern Harrier<br>Photo by David Brandes

Photo by David Brandes

Please cite this page as:
    D. Oleyar, D. Ethier, L. Goodrich, D. Brandes, R. Smith, J. Brown, and J. Sodergren. 2021. The Raptor Population Index: 2019 Analyses and Assessments.