Carroll was a female hen harrier from Northumberland, named and satellite-tagged in July 2016 by members of the Northern England Raptor Forum (NERF) and Scottish Raptor Study Group (SRSG), as part of the Hen Harrier LIFE Project.
Carroll and her brother fledged from one of two nests on Forestry Commission land in Northumberland in August 2016, two of only three nests in the whole of England this year. Both nests were protected by the Northumberland Hen Harrier Protection Partnership, which includes the Forestry Commission, MOD, Natural England, Northumberland National Park Authority, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Northumbria Police and local raptor workers. One of Carroll's brothers was also satellite-tagged by Natural England.
This is the second year in a row that hen harriers have successfully fledged from this Forestry Commission site after seven young fledged from two nests in 2015. One of those chicks, Nile, was tagged by the Hen Harrier LIFE Project and was tracked as far as Northern France. Read more about Nile's story here.
Carroll was named by members of the Northern England Raptor Forum in memory of their late friend and colleague, hen harrier expert Mick Carroll, a man who dedicated his life to monitoring and protecting hen harriers and other birds of prey across England, and particularly on his home patch in the North York Moors.
In the six months since fledging, Carroll stayed almost exclusively in Northumberland, travelling the length and breadth of the county but only ever leaving for two days, crossing briefly into Scotland before settling between a few favoured roosts in mid-Northumberland for the winter.
Sadly, on the 26th January 2017, the body of a satellite tagged hen harrier was found near to Carroll’s last known location by a local landowner who immediately reported it to the local authorities. The body was retrieved with full cooperation and assistance from the landowner and local wildlife crime officers, and a post-mortem examination confirmed that Carroll had died naturally as the result of a parasitic infection. Incredibly, it also showed that she was carrying two shot pellets lodged under healed wounds, indicating that she had survived being shot at some point earlier in her lifetime.