Driven grouse shooting last week, on the Twelfth, returned to the Glen Tanar estate in Royal Deeside for the first time in more than a decade, following the introduction of diversionary feeding to prevent hen harriers from predating grouse populations.
Driven grouse shooting stopped at Glen Tanar in the 1990s as the population dropped below a sustainable level ? partly due to the hen harriers on the estate. Golden eagles also breed regularly on the estate.
Along with normal moor management of heather burning and pest control, breeding hen harriers were given supplementary food this year. Feeding started when there were three eggs in the hen harrier?s nest and continued until after the chicks had fledged. The food included white rats and chopped-up poultry. Three chicks have subsequently fledged. One female and one male were fitted with satellite transmitters, which record their position every 30 minutes.
The rest of this article appears in 18th August issue of Shooting Times.
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