Slender, medium-sized raptor, with dark grey head, breast, back and inner wing; a lighter grey on rest of wing and tail with black wing tips and narrow white rump. Black secondary bar and chestnut streaking on belly and underwing. Similar Pallid is pale grey with slim black wing-tips; larger Hen is grey with broad black wingtips. Females and immatures of all three are streaked brown and have owl-like faces and white rumps.
Male: light grey upperparts, dark wedges on primaries, pale grey head and underbody; lacks black secondary bars. Female: distinctive underwing pattern; pale primaries, irregularly barred and lacking dark trailing edges. Immature male may display rusty breast band and juvenile facial markings.
Eurasian Marsh Harrier
Male: dark brown plumage; dull rufous head and breast; silvery-grey wings, tail; black wing-tips (best seen in flight). Female (and young): chocolate-brown; buff on head and shoulders; like Black Kite, but tail rounded (not forked). Solitary or in pairs; sails low over a marsh, grassland or cultivation; often drops onto ground, frequently vanishing in dense grass and reed growth; perches on mounds or edges of marshes.