Northern Harrier parents have an unusual method for feeding their young: As soon as the birds are able to leave the nest, the parents entice the young birds to fly by tempting them with food from above. A parent will dangle a small mammal from its talons, and the young birds will soon learn to fly up to grab the prey just as the parent drops it. At first, the young birds refuse to fly up for their food, and the parents relent by delivering the meal directly to them on the ground. But as the fledglings get stronger, they soon learn that they can get fed before their siblings if they take a more aggressive approach and grab the food from their parent as it flies above.
Northern Harrier food exchange; parent drops rabbit for fledgling to catchNorthern Harrier food exchange; parent drops rabbit for fledgling to catchNorthern Harrier food exchange; parent drops rabbit for fledgling to catchNorthern Harrier food exchange; parent drops rabbit for fledgling to catchNorthern Harrier food exchange; parent drops rabbit for fledgling to catchNorthern Harrier food exchange; parent drops rabbit for fledgling to catch