hen harrier

Liam Bell on the latest raptor killing reporting

The silly season appears to have come early this year. Whether this is a direct result of journalists and press officers suffering from cabin fever because of the COVID-19 lockdown or something else I am not sure. But two things in the press have caught my eye recently that are…

Brood management trials approved for hen harriers

Natural England has issued a two-year licence approving brood management trials for hen harriers as part of Defra’s recovery plan. The six-point Hen Harrier Action Plan was published in early 2016 — after two years of calls from conservation groups — and was created to help the recovery of the…

raptor persecution

New maps help crack down on bird crime

New interactive maps have been hailed as a valuable tool in the fight against raptor persecution. The maps detail incidents involving the shooting, poisoning and trapping of birds of prey, and the destruction of their nests in England and Wales. They were developed by the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group…

hen harrier tag

War of the words as hen harrier tag goes quiet

Rural groups have rejected claims that grouse moor managers were responsible for the disappearance of a hen harrier. RSPB Scotland says a satellite-tagged bird, named Calluna, vanished over an Aberdeenshire grouse moor near Ballater when transmissions from the tag ended abruptly on the Glorious Twelfth. First day of the season…

Raptor Golden Eagle

Scottish shooters condemn illegal killing of raptors

The shooting community has condemned the illegal killing of birds of  prey after a new report into the disappearance of golden eagles provided strong evidence of raptor persecution over Scottish grouse moors. The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) report followed the movements of 131 golden eagles between 2004 and 2016 and…

hen harrier

2015 hen harrier breeding season set to be most successful since 2010

Hen harriers remain one of the most endangered breeding birds in England. Yet despite poor weather throughout the recent breeding season, 2015 has brought six successful harrier nests, fledging 18 new chicks. Unfortunately a seventh nest failed towards the end of the season as a result of natural causes. The…

Keeper jailed for raptor persecution

Raptor Persecution George Mutch, a 48-year-old gamekeeper from Kildrummy in Aberdeenshire, has been sentenced to for four months in jail after being found guilty of killing a goshawk and setting illegal traps to catch two others. At Aberdeen Sheriff Court today Sheriff Noel McPartlin said he had to impose a…

Common Buzzard

Keeper caught on hidden camera convicted of killing birds of prey

Aberdeenshire gamekeeper George Mutch was found guilty on 11 December 2014 of illegally using a trap and recklessly killing or injuring two goshawks and a buzzard at Kildrummy Estate, near Alford in Aberdeenshire. The prosecution case hinged on controversial video evidence submitted by the RSPB, which was obtained secretly using…