As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 28 April 2017

RSPB opens hotline to locate the UK's rarest breeding birds of prey

Last modified: 28 April 2017

The RSPB is encouraging farmers, birdwatchers and walkers to keep a look out for Montagu’s harriers, the UK’s rarest breeding bird of prey, as they begin this year’s breeding season.

In 2016, five pairs of Montagu’s harrier are known to have nested in England (in Norfolk and SW England). It is essential that the small number of breeding attempts made this year are identified and protected from accidental damage, disturbance or persecution to give these magnificent birds the best possible chance.

Data from tracked individuals has shown that these special birds spend the winter in Senegal, West Africa. In 2014, an adult male Montagu’s harrier, named Mark, was tagged in South West England allowing the RSPB to follow the migration route these birds of prey take for the first time.

The core population of Montagu’s harrier usually returns to the same nesting areas each year. The RSPB has been working successfully with these landowners for more than 30 years; however, it is important that any new or unknown nests are located.

Montagu’s harrier arrive in the UK around May time to nest, before returning to Africa in August. It is possible to spot the breathtaking birds of prey on passage, particularly on the south and eastern coasts of England.


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