Blog Post: Hen harrier class of 2018

During the summer of 2018, the Hen Harrier EU LIFE Project tagged an unprecedented amount of hen harrier chicks across the UK. The team hiked over bogs, moorland and mountains, often during heatwave conditions, to locate the nests, and used their expertise to fit lightweight tags to each feathery bundle. Hen harriers are one of the UK’s most persecuted raptors, and the breeding population in England is dangerously low with just nine successful nests recorded this summer. Fitting tags helps us learn more about the risks they face. We’re now crossing our fingers as we watch these young birds go out into the world. We have added 12 of these to our project website, so you can follow their fortunes too. This year we incorporated a couple of themes into the naming process. Some have been named after gods and goddesses, others pay homage to n...

Blog Post: Meet the new hen harrier heroes

Following on from a successful breeding season, we speak to Jack and Tom, our newest  Assistant Investigations Officers, investigating hen harrier persecution in England and Wales. Here we get to know them and their work a bit better… You’re both keen birders. What’s been your best ever birding moment? Jack: My highlight was in October 2013 witnessing 299 rough-legged buzzards migrating out to sea in southern Demark! Tom: So many to choose from! Watching a pair of shoebills in Uganda’s Murchison Falls NP as a teenager was like something from a dream… the birds and the setting along the north bank of the Nile were very special. What do you do when you’re not working? Jack: Self-confessed raptor geek – read, write, illustrate and watch raptors. If I’m not birding or ringing then I love to climb and keep fit. Tell us somethin...

Blog Post: Six ways you can help hen harriers

Hen harriers are in trouble – that’s not news to anyone. The RSPB continues to urge the government to crack down on illegal persecution in the uplands in a bid to give these birds a chance to re-establish a stable population in England. But is there anything you, me, your friends and your family can do? Well, yes there is, and some of these things you can do right away. Together we can change the tide and stop illegal persecution. Picture credit: Jack Ashton-Booth 1) Attend a Hen Harrier Day event: Share your passion for these magnificent birds, hear talks and campaign for changes to help protect the future of hen harriers. 2) Sign up to Findlay's Thunderclap. Hen harrier campaigner extraordinaire Findlay Wilde is asking everyone who cares about these birds to sign up to a Thunderclap on social media. Sign up here and at 9.30am on 12 A...