The genus Circus is a cosmopolitan genus of about ten species. They are medium-sized, slender hawks, the female being considerably larger than the male. They are characterised by long, narrow, rounded tails, small beaks and long, slender legs. The most notable characteristic is the owl-like ruff of facial feathers that cover unusually large ear openings – an adaptation not for low-light hunting, but to locate prey by their rustling and squeaking in tall grasses.
|wingspan min.:||0||cm||wingspan max.:||0||cm|
|size min.:||54||cm||size max.:||59||cm|
|incubation min.:||33||days||incubation max.:||36||days|
|fledging min.:||45||days||fledging max.:||50||days|
Poaching and persecution (it is believed to be a predator of chickens) continue, despite protective legislation. Increasing urbanisation, road construction and tourism bring disturbance further into the breeding habitat. Below 1,300 m, cultivation and urbanisation have eliminated native forest from all but the steepest of slopes. Cyclones, heavy rains and fires degrade remaining habitat1 that is already increasingly degraded by exotic plants. Other possible threats include agricultural pesticide use, silvicultural management of some forests, and human hunting pressure on some prey species (e.g. larger birds).