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There are three distinctive different morphs you can ID. Unlike most raptors, this species is sexually dimorphic, which means you can tell males from females based on plumage coloration. Simply based on color (and not baring, streaking, spotting, etc.), females are brown on bottom and top, males are white on bottom and are bluish-gray on top, and juveniles also look different, with a pumpkiny orange-cinnamon color. In Norther California, one in ten of Harriers is a male.
This particular male Norther Harrier has been eluding me for about a year with no solid pictures. Right before this picture, he flew about five feet away from me from behind, as if mocking me to tell me he knows I've been tracking him... but it's probably in my head.