• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 1. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m More »

  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Summer Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily through September 1. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

Northern Harrier

Northern harrier
The Northern harrier frequents American Camps open prairies, on the hunt for small mammals. They are distinctive for the broad white patch above their tail feathers.
Steve Byland
 

You’ll see these slender, long-winged raptors gliding low over the prairie like kites, patrolling for voles and other small mammals, frogs, reptiles, and insects.

They may hover briefly with quick, short wingbeats, then dive quickly to surprise their prey. You can’t miss them: they have a broad white patch on their rump.

If you’re close enough, you may see their round, owl-like faces. But don’t get too close. Protective females will repeatedly dive at any person or bird approaching too close to a nest.

 
Fast facts Northern harrier

Did You Know?

West Valley Road on San Juan Island

Many of San Juan Island's roads trace sheep runs cut by Hudson's Bay Company workers. They were led, in part, by Fort Victoria Chief Factor and colonial Gov. James Douglas, from 1853 to 1859. Many of the workers were Cowichan Indians from Vancouver Island.