A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Intermediate Male Northern Harrier, Point Reyes National Seashore. In most birds of prey species, the males and females look similar to each other. This is not the case with Nothern Harriers, owl-like hawks who hunt partially by sound. Different color and patterning between males and females is called sexual dimorphism. You can see it's pumpkiny color transition to slate blue on top and soon enough it's whole underside will be pure white. The white mimics the blinding sun so prey looking skywards may be fooled long enough for the raptor to flip around and strike.