Missing hen harrier reported over Broomhead Moor
14 September 2018
We are hugely disappointed and saddened to hear that one of the successfully fledged hen harrier chicks from the National Trust’s High Peak Moors nest has been reported missing in the Sheffield moorland area.
The chicks were satellite tagged earlier in the year, and although the missing bird had previously remained close to her nest, her tag stopped transmitting following a move over to Broomhead Moor – a privately owned moorland for driven grouse shooting, and the last known fix of her location at the end of August.
Grouse moors are consistently linked with the illegal persecution of birds of prey, and we hope significant questions will be asked of the Broomhead Estate about the disappearance of this bird over their land.
Hen harriers: the numbers just don’t add up
One of the most enigmatic and rare birds of prey in England is the hen harrier, also known as the ‘skydancer’ because of its acrobatic, aerial mating displays.
A Joint Nature Conservation Committee commissioned report in 2011 [insert link to PDF] estimated that England could support a potential hen harrier population of more than 300 pairs. In 2013 there were 0 breeding pairs in England, and in 2016 there were 4 breeding pairs. There have been positive updates on hen harrier breeding in 2017 from Northumberland Wildlife Trust and RSPB’s Skydancer blog.
See ‘The Evidence and References’ below for information relating to these issues.