In conjunction with a study of wintering raptors DEC's Bureau of Wildlife color marked a small number of northern harriers at three locations in eastern New York State in early 2013: Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area, Coxsackie Flats in Greene County, and Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge in Ulster County. The marked harriers have color dye on the underside of their primary and/or secondary flight feathers or the underside of their tail, in combinations that allow for recognition of individual birds regardless of the site at which they were marked. Most individuals will also have a color leg band with a single white letter and number.
The purpose of the color marking is to gain information on the local movements of harriers in these important winter raptor concentration areas. DEC would appreciate receiving reports of any color-marked northern harriers at these sites or elsewhere. Please report the color and location of the marking, color and alpha-numeric of the leg band (if possible), sex of bird (adult male or adult female/juvenile), date, time, and exact location of the observation. If color marking is observed, but the exact location of the marking can't be determined, we may still be able to make individual identification based on the location of the marking and sex of the bird so please report inconclusive color marked birds as well. Please report color marked birds by e-mailing