Swamp harrier

Swamp harrier
Image: Mark Norman / Museums Victoria
Community type

Reed swamp, Saline sedgeland/grassland

Habitat type

Saltmarsh and tidal flats, Tidal wetlands and macrophytes beds

This reddish-brown bird has a white rump, and is the only large bird of prey that is commonly seen soaring on upswept (v-shaped) wings low over saltmarsh and wetland habitats. It can sometimes be seen dropping to the ground to catch small mammals, snakes, and birds. Swamp harriers nest on the ground among tall thick grasses and reeds. A migratory bird it arrives in Tasmania in early spring and leaves in autumn, but a few birds may spend winter hanging around wetlands and saltmarshes of the Derwent.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.