Juvenile Pallid Harrier

A Juvenile Pallid Harrier hunting locusts in the golden grasslands of Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan, India.

Juvenile Pallid Harrier – About the Pallid Harrier:

The Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) otherwise known as the Pale Harrier, is a migratory bird of prey in the harrier family. They breed on open plains, bogs and heathland in parts of South Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Here they nest on the ground where they lay a clutch of four to six whitish eggs. In winter they can be seen in grasslands, desert and semi deserts of India and Southeast Asia. 

Harriers are master hunters and can be seen drifting low to the ground where they surprise small mammals, birds and reptiles.

Find out more about Pallid Harriers


Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Northwestern Rajasthan on the fringe of the Great Indian Desert; The Thar. This small grassland habitat is surrounded by sparse scrub and dry dusty plains peppered with salt pans. Originally a hunting ground for the Maharaja of Bikaner it was declared a sanctuary in the 1960s.

India’s Grasslands are home to some of its most endangered species, many of which are endemic. This important habitat now only exists in a handful of places in India and is sadly becoming increasingly scarce.

This stunning grassland wasn’t always the paradise seen today. After decades of neglect and encroachment by the nearby salt production the sanctuary was in a sorry state. Thanks to efforts coordinated by Mr. S.S.Poonia, the range forest officer at Tal Chhapar, over the years the grassland has been transformed. After gradually stripping away the invasive plant; Prosopis juliflora a variety of grasses were planted such as Mothiya grass, a favourite of the blackbucks, which derives its name from ‘moti’ meaning pearl, as its sweet seeds look like pearls. The final result is vast swathes of pristine grassland bustling with animal life. 


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A Juvenile Pallid Harrier hunting locusts in the golden grasslands of Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan, India.


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