In flight, Samsonvale, SE Queensland, Australia April 2008
The Spotted Harrier, Circus assimilis, also known as the Smoke Hawk, is a large Australasian bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.
It is similar to the Swamp Harrier, distinguished by grey upperparts, chestnut facial disc and dark rump. Its wing length ranges between 375 and 470 mm, with females being larger.
Distribution and habitat
The Spotted Harrier inhabits Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda Islands and is sparsely distributed throughout mainland Australia. It inhabits open country, especially in arid and semiarid regions.
This species usually nests in trees, building a platform of twigs lined with green leaves for the clutch of 2"?4 eggs. The incubation period is about 33 days, with chicks fledging about 37 days after hatching.
It eats ground birds, rabbits, rodents and lizards.