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Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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So so sorry to read this , awful news , one day I do hope justice will be done and these birds can grace our skies in peace

Source RSPB Skydancer Project

Source RSPB Skydancer Project

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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It is incredibly important that then RSPB releases such information. Clearly the police can do little with the information that the missing tag and bird provides. In Scotland, the first signs are appearing that those persons who are responsible are both reducing their actions (after perhaps being told)  and being more careful. For this the Scottish government, the RSPB, and others are to be congratulated. The rest of the UK has to wait.

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Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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My message to the police last month and now another one in same area!!!! According to information released by Natural England (NE) recently: www.gov.uk/.../hen-harrier-annual-tracking-update On 18th August 2010 Hen Harrier id94591 's satellite tag stopped working. 3 days later on 21st August 2010 Hen Harrier id58870's satellite tag also stopped transmitting. Both of these failures were very close together (within 7km) in Bowland an infamous raptor persecution hot spot. id94591 's last known location was Bowland SD596621 which is 1km outside the last known transmission of Hope and 3km away from the centre of the overlap in last transmission of Hope and Sky. id58870's last known transmission was 2km outside the last known transmission of Sky and about 3.5km from centre of overlap of last known transmissions of Sky and Hope. ww2.rspb.org.uk/.../sky-and-hope-a-plea-for-information.aspx All FOUR birds stopped transmitting under suspicious circumstance all within a 7km radius and both times within 3 days of another bird. By failing to report the suspicious circumstances in 2010 NE have failed to give information to the police and the RSPB and the public which could have resulted in a prosecution. Not only that but NE have also withheld evidence that could have helped investigate the crime that occurred 4 years later in almost identical circumstances. At the very least making this suspected crime public in 2010 would have been a very strong deterrent against the criminals and could very well have stopped the killings of Sky and Hope in 2014. I have no doubt at all that Sky, Hope, id94591 and id58870 were all killed by the same individual or group of individuals and NE, by failing to act, have contributed to the deaths of Sky and Hope and hindered the investigation into their fatal persecution.

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Blog Post: Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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This summer we were overjoyed to have hen harriers nesting in Bowland for the first time since 2015. Our project team worked round the clock to monitor the three nests there, and the parent birds fledged an amazing 13 chicks between them. Young hen harriers were fitted with tags as part of the RSPB’s EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE project and we watched with anticipation as the chicks grew and started to fly away from their nests and make their way into the world. Unfortunately, it was unlucky 13 for one of our brood. Young male hen harrier Thor fledged from a nest of four chicks in the Forest of Bowland and his satellite tag was fitted in mid-June. After leaving the nest he remained in the vicinity for several months. His tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. His last known fix on 3 October 2018 showed he was over Goodber Common near Salter in Lancashire, adjacent to a managed driven grouse moor. This disappearance was reported to the police, and a search revealed no sign of the bird or his tag. Thor is the fourth bird to disappear in the past two months, following the disappearances of Hilma, Octavia and Heulwen in August this year. Alarmingly, the last known fix for Thor is directly between the sites where tagged hen harriers Hope and Sky were last heard from before they disappeared back in 2014.   Thor as a youngster (photo: Steve Downing) James Bray, RSPB’s Bowland Project Officer, was involved in monitoring the nests in Bowland over the summer, and watched as Thor hatched, grew and fledged from his nest. He says: “Whilst we know that hen harrier mortality rates are high for young birds - with a survival rate of around 22% within the first two years - if Thor had died naturally we would have expected to find some sign of him or his tag. His tag was functioning well before he disappeared, which sadly suggests there has been some kind of interference with it.” If anyone has any information as to what may have become of Thor, you can contact Lancashire Police on 101.

Source RSPB Skydancer Project

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Source RSPB Skydancer Project

Comment on Hen harrier class of 2018

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Thanks for the early update and details. The video really leaves no doubt as to the fate of the missing no sign birds. It is notable how far the disappeared birds travelled at a very young age. What chance the birds from France if they are ever released?

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Blog Post: Hen harrier class of 2018

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During the summer of 2018, the Hen Harrier EU LIFE Project tagged an unprecedented amount of hen harrier chicks across the UK. The team hiked over bogs, moorland and mountains, often during heatwave conditions, to locate the nests, and used their expertise to fit lightweight tags to each feathery bundle. Hen harriers are one of the UK’s most persecuted raptors, and the breeding population in England is dangerously low with just nine successful nests recorded this summer. Fitting tags helps us learn more about the risks they face. We’re now crossing our fingers as we watch these young birds go out into the world. We have added 12 of these to our project website, so you can follow their fortunes too. This year we incorporated a couple of themes into the naming process. Some have been named after gods and goddesses, others pay homage to notable people, while some celebrate their national language and landscape. 1. Thoth (M) Male chick tagged in the Scottish borders, named after the Egyptian god with the head of an ibis. Tag sponsored by Lothian and Borders Raptor Study Group. Thoth the male hen harrier 2. Hilma (F) Female chick tagged in the Scottish borders. Tag sponsored by Lothian and Borders Raptor Study Group. 3. Vulcan (M) Male chick tagged in Northumberland, on a nest of five chicks. His dad is colour ringed and was ringed at Langholme. He’s a favourite of our project team member Jack, and named after the Roman god of fire. Vulcan the hen harrier 4. Rain (F) She was tagged at Bowland from a nest of five chicks. She’s one of the first chicks we’ve had successfully raised in Bowland since 2015. 5. Nyx (M) He was tagged at Bowland from a nest of five chicks and is one of the 13 birds to successfully fledge at Bowland this year. He is named after Nyx, the shape-shifting water spirit. 6. Thor (M) One of a brood four, and the first of our chicks to be tagged this year. Named after the famous god of thunder, he was tagged on a nest at Bowland in collaboration with United Utilities estates. 7. Doona (F) Female chick tagged on Isle of Man, named by Dhoon School. Her name means ‘dark maiden’. 8. Heulwen (F) Female chick tagged in north Wales. Her name means ‘sunny’ in Welsh. 9. Octavia (F) Female chick tagged in the Peak District from the first successful nest in the Peak District since 2014. She is named after Octavia Hill, one of the three founders of the National Trust. Octavia the hen harrier 10. Arthur (M) Male chick tagged in the Peak District. He is named after Arthur Hobhouse, who set out the philosophy behind our system of National Parks of England and Wales. Hobhouse argued that everyone should have access to fresh air and beautiful places. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. This harrier will be monitored alongside raptor works and National Trust in the Peaks. 11. Keen (F) Female bird tagged in Perthshire from a nest of three chicks. The is the third bird to be tagged at an area of woodland managed sustainably by the community for the benefit of everyone, after DeeCee in 2016 and Heather in 2017. 12. Marcie (F) This is the third bird to be tagged at Mar Lodge, one of several chicks born there in 2018. Harriet and Calluna were also tagged there in 2016 and 2017 respectively. However, since tagging these birds, three have already gone missing in suspicious circumstances. Jenny Shelton, RSPB Investigations, explains more in this video: (Please visit the site to view this video)

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Comment on Three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

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Prasad et al, even if the suspicious circumstances were reported to the police, NE have some small measures (unlike in Scotland) which they can take without a successful persecution. Even better, the estate against whom the measures were taken, could appeal and let the public find out what is going on. If they did take measures against the estate/s where the incidents happened, it is clear due to the locations revealed, that the measures did not work as the same places  seem to be repeated. Of course, NE could have given greater details as incidents occurred over the years, which might have had an effect. Ah, sorry, I forgot.