Western Marsh Harrier

(Circus aeruginosus)

This is a very able flyer, demonstrating the fact especially in spring, when males and females follow daring nuptial parades.


Females and the young have a blonde-gold crown, throat, and shoulders and a brown line that crosses the eyes. Males have a brown body with a slightly lighter head, while the centre of the wings and tail are light grey and the tips of the wings are black. The young may be very similar to females, so they are difficult to distinguish. Wingspan: up to 130 cm. Length: 52 cm. They fly patiently over the rushes at a ‘standstill’ in search of potential prey. They are sedentary and nest-building in Italy, but their presence in the province is rather scarce due to the lack of extensive stretches of rushes.


The species nests in expansive developed rushes, so it can be seen in marshes and at the edges of large rivers. In winter, it also moves to the fields to rest, in search of prey.

Observation in the Torbiera Reserve

Mute swans are present in the Reserve throughout the year, in both the ‘Lame’ and ‘Lamette’. They can be seen especially in spring and autumn when individuals busy courting and building nests are added to those that are migrating.

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