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Skydancer

Skydancer
Skydancer is an exciting new four-year project aimed at raising awareness and promoting the conservation of hen harriers in the north of England.
Results for raptor
  • Blog Post: Hen harrier forensics

    Science and technology play an integral part these days in allowing us to learn more about our native wildlife and in the fight against wildlife crime. The satellite transmitter fitted to ‘our Betty’ as a young chick, is a fantastic example of this. In the first instance we learnt a huge...
  • Blog Post: Suggestions please!

    Instead of referring to our male harrier as ‘our male’, ‘Bowland male’, or ‘73852’ (his sat tag reference number), we thought it would be nice if he had a name! So I'm putting out a request to you, the readers of this blog, to help us come up with a name for him...
  • Blog Post: Fancy knitting a hen harrier?

    Check out these amazing knitted hen harriers! Inspired by the Skydancer project, enterprising volunteers Fariha and Siobhán picked up their knitting needles and created these fantastic hen harrier hand puppets for our education volunteers to use in primary schools. The puppets have been...
  • Blog Post: Help in protecting harriers.

    Well it’s very quiet up on the fell now, there are a few harriers still hanging around their natal areas but probably not for too much longer. Once the young have fledged and are able to hunt for themselves, the family groups disperse and leave the immediate locality of the nesting area. Indeed...
  • Blog Post: Harriers and hailstones 2

    I saw lots of hailstones on the fell yesterday but not many harriers. No harriers in fact. In fact I’ve not seen a harrier all year. Now I should point out that I am not on the hill every day like Mick (Bowland Assistant Warden) but even Mick hasn't seen many. If this were a typical year...
  • Blog Post: Update on Martin

    Just to keep you informed of the latest info on Martin, a little worryingly, as of Monday, no transmission has been received from him for 7 days. Whilst this length of gap between transmission isn’t unheard of, it is a little unusual. Weather could be a factor in this, and I for one am very...
  • Blog Post: Hen harriers over the Geltsdale hills

    Despite the ice and snow, it was a glorious day at Geltsdale yesterday. It's been a better winter for roosting hen harriers this year than it has been for a long time, so as the landscape gradually thaws, we're keeping fingers and toes crossed that some stick around to breed. Just picture...
  • Blog Post: Bowland update

    So we’ve reached the beginning of April and what of the birds in Bowland I hear you all asking. Well, to be honest it’s pretty quiet on the harrier front. I reported the skydancing male back on the 19th March but alas, his efforts did not lead to him attracting a female and we have not seen...
  • Blog Post: First exciting news of 2012

    I've just got time for a very quick blog today but I just wanted to let you know that over the weekend we have had our first sighting of a skydancing male harrier in Bowland! It was a pretty poor week last week in terms of the weather - persistent low cloud everyday, but harrier sightings have...
  • Blog Post: Exploring the moors, come hail or shine!

    I don't know about you, but for me the brief glimpse of summer we had this weekend came as a seriously welcome respite from the seemingly never-ending winter! Just last week, the children of Haltwhistle Lower Community Campus had to deal with four seasons in one day including icy winds and actual...
  • Blog Post: Four steps from extinction

    The RSPB has today released the 2011 breeding figures for hen harriers in England, confirming that the four pairs of harriers that fledged young on the United Utilities estate in Bowland were the only four pairs to successfully raise young in the whole country. This is believed to be the lowest population...
  • Blog Post: When they decide to go they go!

    Well as predicted, our juvenile male harrier has finally become curious about the world outside Bowland and spread his wings! Last week, after a brief foray to the west as far as the M6, he passed back over Bowland and then headed directly east, (straight over my house by the looks of things) and...
  • Blog Post: Say 'yes' to better laws for wildlife

    There's no denying it's been a dismal year for breeding hen harriers in England - only one pair away from total failure. However as autumn leaves herald the return of wintering harriers to the Dee and other sites around our coasts, I can't help but feel that little seed of positivity stirring...
  • Blog Post: Where are they now?

    So here is what I hope will be the first of many updates I’ll be able to provide you with on the progress of some of our juvenile harriers from this year – details kindly passed to me by Stephen Murphy, Natural England’s Hen harrier Recovery Project Officer. One of our females has...
  • Blog Post: North Tynedale: a false dawn

    Like Vladimir and Estragon, we watchers play the waiting game. Godot of course never showed up, and yet Godot wasn’t vilified and persecuted for a hundred and fifty years. But this isn’t a play, it’s life and death and it’s here and now. An indigenous English bird is on the cusp...
  • Blog Post: New Scottish initiative to record harriers

    The Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland , have launched the Heads up for Harriers scheme - their own version of the Hen Harrier Hotline - and are appealing for members of the public to send in their sightings of hen harriers across Scotland. They have said: As the Partnership...
  • Blog Post: Betty's Story - on BBC iPlayer

    If any of you didn't manage to catch it last night or happen to live outside the region, you can now watch Jude Lane talk about the tragedy of Bowland Betty and the issues facing hen harriers in England on Inside Out North East & Cumbria on BBC iPlayer ! It's only 8 minutes long but it does...
  • Blog Post: The future of gamekeeping

    If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you’ll know that a big part of the work that we’re doing with Skydancer focuses on education – visiting primary and secondary schools across the North of England and teaching the next generation all about hen harriers and how...
  • Blog Post: North Tynedale: Glad to be Back

    Stephen Temperley returns to Skydancer this month, reprising his role coordinating the North Tynedale hen harrier nest protection project. As the breeding season gets underway in earnest, he has some positive early news... Greetings from the RSPB Species Protection Coordinator for Northumberland!...
  • Blog Post: North Tynedale: Great Expectations

    Well, the seasons' wheel has turned and here we are again in North Tynedale, Northumberland, still waiting and watching in eager (and, if the truth be told, nervous) anticipation for the establishment of a pair of hen harriers with procreation on their minds. A few dedicated, expert RSPB volunteers...
  • Blog Post: Never presume to assume #1

    “ Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make -- bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake -- if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble .” – Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events As Skydancer fast...
  • Blog Post: Spotlight on sport shooting and birds of prey

    What a week it's been! The announcement of Defra's proposals to (amongst other things) destroy unoccupied buzzard nests and remove "problem" adults into captivity, as part of a trial management project to protect young pheasants at their release pens, caused national uproar on a scale...
  • Blog Post: Bird of prey persecution - make your voice heard

    Crimes against birds of prey are widespread across the UK. The results of the 2010 National Hen harrier survey showed that the harrier is on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in England. Since 2004, the English breeding population has declined by 20% and remains perilously low with just 12...
  • Blog Post: Is coexistence really possible?

    That is the million-dollar question posed by Tony in response to last week’s Skydancer blog . And boy is it a good one – so good in fact, that I felt it deserved its own blog post. This could be a long one, so for those of you in a hurry, the short answer is: Yes. Of course hen harriers...
  • Blog Post: Introducing Martin ...

    Thanks for all your name suggestions, we've decided to go with the inspired suggestion of Martin - Hen harrier en français is Busard Saint-Martin! Martin © Stephen Murphy, Natural England. According to the most recent update, Martin is still enjoying northern France, with fixes...