General plumage deep reddish brown: crown of the head yellowish white: wings a little shorter than the tail.
Falco rufus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 69. Marsh Harrier, Selb. Must. vol. i. p. 66. pl. 9. Moor-Buzzard, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 26.
Entire length one foot seven to nine inches: breadth, wings extended, three feet eleven inches to four feet two inches.
(Adult in the fourth year). Head and neck yellowish brown, with longitudinal darker streaks: scapulars and wing-coverts reddish brown: first five primaries dusky lead-colour; all the secondaries and tail-feathers cinereous: rest of the plumage bright ferruginous: bill black: irides reddish yellow: cere and feet yellow. (Second year). Crown of the head, throat, and nape, straw-yellow, with fine longitudinal dusky streaks: rest of the body dark umber-brown, tinged beneath with rust-red: a few yellowish spots upon the wings: irides brown. (Young of the year). Whole plumage deep chocolate-brown, inclining to yellowish on the throat, crown, and back of the head: quills, wing-coverts, and tail-feathers, tipped with yellowish brown: occasionally a few white patches on the lower part of the abdomen: irides dusky brown. (Egg). Rather pointed: white: long. diam. two inches one line; trans, diam. one inch six lines.
Common in marshy districts. Preys on water-fowl, small quadrupeds, and reptiles. Nest on the ground amongst rushes: eggs three to five in number. Obs. The Falco ceruginosus of Linnaeus is the young of this species.