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Operation Artemis

Operation Artemis

OPERATION ARTEMIS
Will ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the sight of the Hen Harriers in the skies above the the UK.Click here to find out how you can help

24 Hour guard pays dividends

24 Hour guard pays dividends

A 24 hour guard placed on England's most endangered bird,the Hen harrier, paid off in 2005 with the hatching of five young. The guard, organised by the RSPB at Geltsdale on the Northumberland / Cumbria border, was a success thanks to an army of volunteers.RSPB spokesman David Hirst said, "We owe a great deal of thanks to local volunteers who have helped man the 24-hour protection scheme that we have operated on the nest for the past two months.They have been vital in supporting our four full-time hen harrier wardens on the reserve."
RSPB Geltsdale reserve manager David O'Hara, said: "The English population is perilousley low, so every nest is precious."
Illegal killing is the principal reason why hen harriers are absent from from almost all areas of suitable moorland habitat in the North of England and they are one of the UK's most persecuted birds.
In 2004 only 10 pairs successfully nested in England, and all these were in the forest of Bowland in Lancashire.
Wardens at the RSPB reserve of Geltsdale are asking birders to keep ane eye out for one of 2005's three young harriers.The missing bird (a ringtail or female) has a blue tag on the right wing and a yellow tag on the left.Reports of sightings should be made to dave O'Hara on 01697 746717 or by e-mail to dave.ohara@rspb.org.uk

Photograph. (above).Male Hen Harrier birdphoto.fi/ see bird photographers for links.
Colour plate from 'Birds of Prey' by Gareth Parry and Rory Putman.Click here for this book and others on Birds of Prey

Ringtail shot in Northumberland

May 2nd 2006
One of England's rarest birds of prey has been shot illegally in Northumberland.
A pair of hen harriers had successfully laid eggs in their ground nest on a patch of moor close to Corbridge. The female left the nest on Friday afternoon to go hunting. Shortly afterwards four shots were heard and the female has not been seen since. The birds are protected by law and anyone caught disturbing or injuring them faces a fine or prison. Steve Downing, from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, said it was devastating news as the birds had been making good progress. He said: "We've watched their behaviour and know they were on eggs. "It is a wonderful area for them, with a supportive landowner who is very keen to see the birds nesting.
"This is a devastating blow not only for the birds, but for the people of Northumberland who had a fantastic opportunity to see these rare and wonderful creatures on their doorstep."

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