'Suspicious' Hen Harrier disappearance triggers investigation 


The 'sudden' and 'suspicious' disappearance of a satellite-tagged Hen Harrier has triggered an investigation by RSPB Scotland.

The charity said that data from the transmitter attached to the bird – a young female – stopped working on 15 February. 

The female Hen Harrier was last tracked on 15 February (RSPB).


Unsuccessful search

This prompted a search of the harrier's last known location – the Glen Esk area of Angus. Despite officers from the National Wildlife Crime unit, Police Scotland and RSPB staff looking, there was no sign of the bird or its satellite tag.

RSPB Scotland added that it was the fourth tagged Hen Harrier to have disappeared in the area since 2017.

The harrier was nicknamed 'Shalimar' and was born at the Mar Lodge Estate NNR in Aberdeenshire last year. In that year [2023], no fewer than 32 Hen Harriers fledged at Mar Lodge – the highest number since Hen Harriers colonised the estate in 2016.