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.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

SATELLITE BID TO AID RARE CHICKS


PUBLISHED: 15:53, 3 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:53, 3 July 2014

Rare hen harrier chicks have been fitted with satellite tags to track them as part of efforts to protect England's most threatened bird of prey.

The four-week-old chicks are being raised on the United Utilities Bowland Estate in Lancashire, in the first successful hen harrier nest in England since 2012, the RSPB said.

Last year, hen harriers failed to nest successfully in England for the first time since the 1960s, leaving the bird on the brink of extinction in the country, the conservation charity said.

But this year the protected bird of prey, which has been subject to long term persecution, appears to be faring slightly better with three active nests in England.

Chicks produced in the other English nests, one of which is also on the United Utilities Bowland Estate, will also be tagged when they are big enough.

Government conservation agency Natural England's lead adviser for hen harriers, Stephen Murphy, who fitted the tags, said: "The lightweight tags weigh just 9.5 grams and are solar recharging, giving an operational life of at least three years.

"This is where technology can really aid conservation as there is no better way of gaining an insight into the complex dispersal of these iconic birds."

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