Tag: hen harrier

Ruth Peacey | Producing Hen Harrier Day 2020

For the first time since it was launched in 2014, Hen Harrier Day is moving entirely online! Covid-19 restrictions mean that Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin will be presenting live from their home in the New Forest, a raft of pre-recorded content is being lined up to accompany them, and the whole show will be kept on the road by Ruth Peacey, who is producing remotely from her home in the south-west, and Fabian Harrison, who will be vision mixing and co-ordinating social media another two hundred miles away. Charlie Moores grabbed a quick chat with Ruth, a few days before the ‘big day’ on Saturday August 8th, to find out how things were shaping up, what ‘s involved with putting on live events like these, and what she was planning to do when it was all over!

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PROJECT CamTag

Last year a selection of campaigners were approached by a small team calling themselves 3rd Eye Technology (3ET) with a proposal to invent camera satellite tags. Led by a member of the birding community whom we’ve known personally for many years, 3ET stated that they intended “to produce a CamTag® to work in conjunction with existing satellite tags“. Collecting live photographic evidence to help with future investigations is a logical next step. It would also be useful, say 3ET, to use the technology to capture images of the birds’ day to day lives, learning more about their interactions with other harriers or predators for example.

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Hen Harrier Day 2020

Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin will be hosting 2020’s Hen Harrier Day – which this year has moved online after uncertainties about whether previously booked hosting locations would be available (or even whether lockdown would have ended). Launched with several concurrent events (including the famously rainswept event in the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District organised by Dr Mark Avery), Hen Harrier Day began in 2014 to raise awareness of the persecution these spectacular bird faced on grouse moors. Deliberately held on the weekend closest to the start of the ‘Inglorious 12th’, Hen Harrier Day has always aimed to help put an end to wildlife crime and the wider abuse of the uplands associated with shooting birds for ‘sport’.

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Hen Harrier Day Wales 2020

Today (July 18 2020) sees the first Hen Harrier Day ever hosted in Wales. Which does seem strange given that uber-Welsh conservationist and broadcaster Iolo Williams has been a vocal and passionate supporter of Hen Harrier Day since the first HHD in the Peak District on 10 August 2014, but that makes it all the more welcome as the once-small protest movement against the persecution of birds of prey on grouse moors continues to gather pace. Today’s event is also the first to be held online, as organisers have had to bow the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic and bring the Day inside. There will still be a great cast of speakers though – and the line-up is exactly who you’d want to hear from if you want to learn the truth about raptor persecution, wildlife crime, and the driven grouse shooting industry.

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Two more Hen Harriers ‘disappear’ on grouse moors

Just as they did in December last year RSPB Scotland has had to post a press-release talking about the ‘disappearance’ of two satellite-tagged Hen Harriers on grouse moors, this time in the Cairngorms National Park. Once again the birds ‘disappeared’ (legalese for ‘almost certainly killed but we just can’t prove it yet’) during lockdown (a period where the public stayed indoors but which gamekeepers seem to have reacted to by going on a wildlife crime spree). Here’s a stat to chew over: 72% of tagged Hen Harriers were confirmed or considered likely to have been illegally killed, and this was ten times more likely to occur over areas of land managed for grouse shooting relative to other land uses.

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RSPB Cymru welcomes new Raptor Officer

The excellent RSPB Investigations Team has recently welcomed a new Raptor Officer to their ranks. Niall Owen has taken up the post of RSPB Cymru Raptor Officer in a new Welsh government-funded role. As well as supporting the police with investigations into crimes involving birds of prey, he will be satellite tagging hen harriers and monitoring their nests over the summer. A keen wildlife photographer with a wealth of knowledge and passion for birds of prey, Niall has already begun undertaking fieldwork.

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