Hen Harrier

Scientific Name: Circus cyaneus
Malay Name: Helang-Sawah Kelabu Biasa
Chinese Name: 白尾鹞

Found from temperate Europe, Central Asia, Siberia to northern China and winters south to northern Africa, Middle-east, northern Indian subcontinent, southern China, Japan, Korea, Indochina and the Thai-Malay Peninsula


Size: 44-52 cm

Male has grey head, breast and upperparts with contrasting white lower breast and undertail coverts, black outer primaries and dark trailing edge. Female resembles Eastern Marsh Harrier but underwing has three obvious dark bands with the one at the trailing edge the broadest. Juvenile resembles female but has rustier underparts and darker secondaries at the underwing.

Similar looking species: Eastern Marsh Harrier, Pied Harrier

Habitat: Open country, reclaimed land, grasslands and marshes.


Local Status: Very rare vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Only 3 confirmed records: a male specimen collected near Paya Lebar Airport in January 1948, a male seen at Jurong prawn ponds in November 1963 and a bird near Poyan Reservoir in November 1982.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International 2016. Circus cyaneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Downloaded on 28 August 2021
Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
Allen Jeyarajasingam & Alan Pearson (2012) A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore
Lim Kim Seng (2009) The Avifauna of Singapore

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