Hen Harrier Day events will raise awareness of species' plight


This year's Hen Harrier Day will take place on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August, highlighting the fact that this protected species is still being illegally targeted by rogue members of the shooting industry. Thousands are expected to turn out for Britain's fourth Hen Harrier Day (HHD) at a series of events across the country.

Only three pairs of Hen harrier bred in England last year (Andy Hay (www.rspb-images.com)).

The talks, walks and rallies will raise awareness of the continuing persecution of the species, which is struggling to survive as a breeding bird in much of Britain. Last year there were just three pairs of the birds in England, despite there being enough suitable habitat for around 300 pairs.

Hen Harriers are illegally killed because they can prey on Red Grouse, a gamebird managed intensively for shooting. Support for the harriers is growing and each year more people take part in HHD events, meeting experts, listening to talks and taking part in other activities celebrating and sharing the story of these magnificent birds. Details of this year’s events can be found at henharrierday.org.

While Hen Harrier still nests in numbers in Scotland, the species is also viewed to be underperforming there due to persecution (Mark Thomas (www.rspb-images.com)).

RSPB Global Conservation Director Martin Harper said: “Hen Harriers are on the brink of vanishing from England as a breeding species, and they’re declining in other areas of the UK, too. It is appalling to think that future generations may not get to see their spectacular ‘sky dance’ over our moors. The illegal killing must stop now, so that this bird’s population can recover.”

Phil Walton of Birders Against Wildlife Crime said: “It’s always really encouraging to see the sheer number of people who turn up to these events because they feel so passionately about Hen Harriers. The growth of HHD helps us send a very clear signal to criminals who are targeting [the birds]: we want our Hen Harriers back.”

Related pages

Hen Harrier Hen Harrier

The information in this article was believed correct at the time of writing. BirdGuides accepts no responsibility for errors, or for any consequences of acting on information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily shared by BirdGuides Ltd.

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