Henry in Bowland

Tues 19 May Copy

Yes, Henry is in the Forest of Bowland – the so-called stronghold for Hen Harriers in England.

Henry was pretty brave to show up here as three male Hen Harriers have disappeared from active nests in this area this season.  There may be lonely ringtails around, but are the risks worth taking Henry?

It was important that Henry visit this area, as in recent decades it has been the most important site for the English Hen Harrier population. Henry liked the look of the place, ‘Lots of yummy mippits’ he said (Henry seems to be picking up some birding lingo – it must be through our long conversations travelling the moors of the north of England).

The figures below come from John Armitage’s blog, A Birding Odyssey of 1 May 2012, just to remind us of how things used to be. These are just for the Forest of Bowland:

1981, 17 nests, 42 young fledged
1982, 15 nests, 52 young fledged
1983, 2 nests, 7 young fledged
1984, 9 nests, 4 young fledged
1985, 7 nests, 1 young fledged
1986, 5 nests, 5 young fledged
1987, 5 nests, 4 young fledged
1988, 5 nests, 15 young fledged
1989, 14 nests, 20 young fledged
1990, 15 nests, 26 young fledged
1991, 18 nests, 22 young fledged
1992, 15 nests, 9 young fledged
1993, 10 nests, 12 young fledged
1994, 7 nests, 12 young fledged
1995, 9 nests, 9 young fledged
1996, 7 nests, 19 young fledged
1997, 14 nests, 13 young fledged
1998, 8 nests, 22 young fledged
1999, 11 nests, 24 young fledged
2000, 7 nests, 6 young fledged
2001, Foot & Mouth disease – no data
2002, 6 nests, 10 young fledged
2003, 13 nests, 12 young fledged
2004, 10 nests, 25 young fledged
2005, 15 nests, 23 young fledged

IMG_4850You’ll remember that last year there were just four pairs of Hen Harrier in the whole of England (and the science says that there should be over 330 pairs) with two of them, I believe, in Bowland. The year before, there were two pairs in the whole of England. We have sunk to a poor state of affairs.  Particularly because the symbol of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a Hen Harrier. Much of the outstanding natural beauty of this area has been lost. It’s now a wildlife crime scene.


#HaveYouSeen Henry?



4 Replies to “Henry in Bowland”

  1. Would be interesting to see the figures since 2005? It might drive home the dramatic fall in the Bowland population.

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