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Category Archives: News About The Trust

New Hen Harriers Satellite Tagging Project Website Launched by HOT

The Hawk and Owl Trust have just launched a new dedicated website to provide details of its Hen Harriers Satellite Tagging Project – an initiative to help save English hen harriers from extinction.

The website – hawkandowl.org/HHST/ – will track the actual flight paths of two hen harriers fitted with satellite tagging ‘backpacks’. In turn the Trust will publish – with a suitable time delay and disguised location data – the information up/down loaded to the satellite so that they can monitor their progress and ascertain an understanding of harrier movement from their birth areas, their dispersal across heather uplands and their communal roost sites in winter where they are most vulnerable to persecution.

The project contributes towards a six-point plan, initiated by the government, to restore the population of English Hen Harriers which are close to extinction.

Under the umbrella of its Upland Stakeholder Forum (USF) the UK Govt. Dept. Defra established a hen harrier sub-group with the remit of looking “specifically at the issues surrounding hen harrier populations in England”.

The Hawk and Owl Trust is providing active support to two actions within the six-point plan: 1. Monitoring of populations in England and UK and 4. Nest and Winter Roost Protection.

As part of this recovery plan Natural England, on behalf of the Hawk and Owl Trust, have recently satellite tagged two juvenile female hen harriers from the Scottish borders. Jemima Parry-Jones, Hawk and Owl trustee and Trust Volunteer and Project Coordinator Hamish Smith, travelled north to witness and assist Stephen Murphy from Natural England fit the satellite tags to our two target birds.

The satellite tag is on a 10:48 pattern. It will transmit for 10 hours and then recharge in daylight over the next 48 hours.

The satellite data received, when the tagged harriers have left their natal area, will be displayed on our new website where you will be able to follow the fortunes of the Hen Harriers, which have been named Sorrel and Rowan.

han_harrier_sat_tagged
One of the target hen harriers has the satellite tagging ‘back-pack’ attached by Stephen Murphy of Natural England | Photo © Hamish Smith

More about the Hen Harrier
The Hen Harrier is an elegant bird of prey that frequents the heather uplands of northern England.

The male is spectacularly beautiful with its silver-grey plumage and black primaries. The female, is larger and her plumage is an overall chocolate-brown. She has a white patch on her rump and her tail is barred with darker bands.

The Hen Harrier is a controversial bird, because over a short period in the summer, amongst other prey items, it kills Red grouse chicks to feed its young and this has brought it into conflict with those who intensively manage the moors for driven grouse shooting.

The population of breeding Hen Harriers in England has fluctuated wildly over the last twenty years. In 2013 it was extinct as a breeding bird. This year there were only three breeding pairs. Experts tell us that the heather moorlands of northern England could support 250 – 300 pairs.

Discover Norfolk Promotes the Hawk and Owl Trust

The Hawk and Owl Trust are always aiming to work closely with local organisations across the country to promote what we have to offer. For visitors to Norfolk, Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve based near Fakenham is the top Hawk and Owl Trust attraction to visit, this is followed in the spring and early summer… Continue Reading

Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Season Continues with the Successful Hatching of all 4 Eggs

The story of this years Norwich Cathedral Peregrine season continues with the successful hatching of all four eggs into healthy chicks.  After between 35 to 36 days of incubation, which was taken in turns by the male and female, the chicks showed their first signs of hatching on Thursday 28 April.  Within 48 hours all four… Continue Reading

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve has a fantastic start to spring 2016

Here at Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve in Norfolk, spring is certainly buzzing! The weather is getting milder and the summer migratory bird sightings as well as other wildlife are starting to increase.  These have included frogs spawning, water rail, marsh harrier displaying, buzzards, kestrels, red kites, redpoll, siskins, kingfishers, goldfinch, nesting tree creepers, nuthatches, lapwings, swallows, sand martins, house martins… Continue Reading

Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Season 2016 Kicks Off with the Laying of 4 eggs

The Hawk and Owl Trust Urban Peregrine Project at Norwich Cathedral is off to a flying start this season with the laying of four eggs starting on Friday 18th through to Saturday 26th March.  Please see below for specific timings and dates.     (Timings are approximate to the nearest 5 minutes) 1st Egg: Friday… Continue Reading

Hawk and Owl Trust Install a New Peregrine Nest Box on Wymondham Abbey

On Saturday 13th February, a volunteer team of intrepid explorers climbed to the top of the tower at Wymondham Abbey in Norfolk to install a brand new peregrine nest box on the roof. For the past few years peregrine activity and remains of their meals have been found around the Abbeys grounds. So the team… Continue Reading

Volunteering Opportunities Still Available for the 2016 Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Watch Point

If you would like to meet like minded people who love birds as much as you do then we are looking for people to come and help volunteer with us at the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines Watch Point for the 2016 season.   The watch point will be opening on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 and will run… Continue Reading

Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Watch Point Set to Open on Wednesday 23 March

For all those people out there who just love to watch our wonderful peregrines at Norwich Cathedral‬ in Norfolk, we would like to announce that our Watch Point, set up near the refectory in the Cathedral Close, will be opening to the public at 10.00am on Wednesday 23 March, just in time for the Easter Weekend!  It will be… Continue Reading

The Hawk and Owl Trust Kestrel Highways News Update

Kestrel Highways Project News Update An update as we approach the 2016 kestrel breeding season, provided by Barry Gray The box at Backwell has been replaced and the Congresbury one patched up. We wait to see what will happen with the nearby proposed housing development. There are ongoing discussions with the National Autistic Society at… Continue Reading