Hen harrier, female at nest of eggs in heather

The Private Life of Hen Harriers - Video

Breeding on isolated hilltops in remote and often inaccessible moorland landscapes, this video offers a rare glimpse into the private lives of hen harriers.

Rare footage of a Northumberland hen harrier nest

Filmed by remote cameras at a secret location in North Tynedale in 2008.

Informative subtitles will help you follow this hen harrier family from first egg to fledging.

For teachers

If using this video in a classroom context, here are some questions you could use for discussion afterwards: 

  • What do you think would make an ideal hen harrier habitat? 
  • What challenges might hen harriers face by building their nest on the ground? 
  • Do ground nesting birds in other habitats have the same challenges?
  • Why do you think hen harriers nest on the ground rather than somewhere high up?
  • How are hen harriers adapted to their moorland habitat?
  • Can you think of any other animals that are adapted to live on the moorland?
  • Could you invent your own moorland creature? What would it look like?
  • By raising awareness and understanding about these beautiful birds we hope that scenes like these will soon return to the Northumbrian hills, and that skydancing hen harriers will once more be a regular sight above the moors. 

This video was created with funding and support from the Northumberland National ParkSITA Trust and Forestry Commission.

All filming was carried out under licence by Cyaneus Photography. The hen harrier is a Schedule 1 species. Disturbance of these species may only by undertaken by licensed individuals. This footage was obtained under a licence provided by Natural England. 

North Tynedale hen harriers

This short film shows footage of a hen harrier nest in Northumberland taken using a camera which was installed under a special licence.

This short film shows footage of a hen harrier nest in Northumberland taken using a camera which was installed under a special licence.

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Hen harrier video screenshot