Definition of hen harrier in English:

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hen harrier


A widespread harrier of open country, the male of which is mainly pale grey and the female brown.
  • Circus cyaneus, family Accipitridae. North American name: marsh hawk, northern harrier
Example sentences
  • The tracking also showed that a peregrine falcon took a juvenile hen harrier fledged from one of the eight successful nests.
  • As we enjoyed watching hundreds of them flying in to a stubble field to rest and doze in the midday sun, my wife spotted a ring-tail hen harrier quartering a beet field yet to be harvested.
  • A big raptor flew low and light over the scene under the open sky, a hen harrier, a heavy-duty killer.


Mid 16th century: so named because it was believed to prey on poultry.

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