NOAH: northern harrier
Noah arrived at the Center in the summer of 2012, his hatch year. He was imprinted on humans, indicating that he would probably continue to look to people for food, so he could not be released. An improperly imprinted bird (one that, as a young chick, has not identified itself with its own species through proper parental feeding) also often fails to develop socially as it should in order to live a normal life, hunting and producing and rearing young.
We were certain of Noah's gender, even at his young age on intake, owing to both eye color – yellowish gray in males, dark brown in females – and size – males are considerably smaller than females. As a full-fledged adult male, Noah will have a gray back, a white belly, and wings with black tips. The females remain brown. This is one of the very few local raptor species that show decided color differences between males and females.
Both possess a facial disc similar to those present in owls, indicating that these hawks use hearing in their search for small rodents in the fields.
Male Northern Harriers are outnumbered in the wild by females and young, because, unlike almost all other raptor species, each male will mate with multiple partners. The nests are generally in the same small area, and the male Harrier will help raise all the young.