RSPB reports another Hen Harrier disappeared

Arthur, a Hen Harrier tagged this summer as a nestling in the Peak District has disappeared in North Yorkshire says RSPB (although this is, slightly confusingly (it confused me), a repeat of a previous press release).

The bird, named Arthur, hatched from a nest in the Peak District the summer of 2018. This was the first time hen harriers had successfully bred in the Peak District since 2014. Arthur, along with his sister Octavia, was fitted with a lightweight satellite tag by RSPB staff as part of the Hen Harrier LIFE project, which has enabled the RSPB to track his movements since leaving the nest in July.


Transmissions from Arthur’s tag showed him fledging from his nest and remaining faithful to that area in the Peak District. He then moved to the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, in mid-October before flying back north to Nidderdale, North Yorkshire. On the morning of Friday 26 October he flew onto the North York Moors National Park. He registered his last position at 0955hrs when he was just north of Lowna Bridge, near Hutton-le-Hole.

RSPB Assistant Investigations Officer Jack Ashton-Booth said, ‘Arthur’s last location showed he was in an upland area close to several driven grouse moors. When tagged hen harriers have died of natural causes in the past, the tags and bodies of the bird are usually recovered. To find no trace of Arthur or Octavia is extremely concerning. Arthur is the ninth hen harrier to suddenly disappear in suspicious circumstances since August. This is gravely concerning given that the species is on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in England.’.

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9 Replies to “RSPB reports another Hen Harrier disappeared”

  1. Hen Harrier Arthur was first announced as disappeared on 12th November, following loss of signal on 26th October. It is not a new announcement.
    Today's mention of Arthur by the RSPB did mention that, but give other details such as that there were over 30 Hen Harriers tagged this year by the RSPB in England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man as part of the RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE project.
    This gives further guidance as to the number of birds lost to the possible causes as a percentage in the 3 months + since fledging.

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  2. When are the rspb going to take this further, how many more birds disappear when they get anywhere near a grouse moor,
    All the time & effort raising & watching the sites following them , but other birds are disappearing to,
    It's got to stop,
    Yes the police are short of resources,
    But they do know what when & who are doing it , they need the public's help , send pictures videos,
    Help stop this happening

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  3. I think it is RSPB staff who are knocking off these Hen Harriers to further their anti grouse shooting agenda to encourage members of the public to give them money.

    Look at the facts. The only ones who tag Hen Harrier is the RSPB. It is only RSPB staff who know the location of these birds 24/7/365 days of the year.

    If as the RSPB states the Hen Harrier is so rare what are the chances if any one seeing one in the wild by chance let alone being near enough to one to shoot it with a fire arm?

    The more hen harriers disappear the more money the RSPB makes .

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    1. And of course pigs can fly, there are pink elephants,
      Santa Claus and the tooth fairy are real and live amongst us
      keepers are saintly folk with halos and no guns
      and some shooting folk have more than animal effluent for brains

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  4. Yes Mike, I have long known the tags to be some form of controlling device.
    At a given signal, the birds return to their handler where they are given a small reward, before being
    humanely despatched.
    The handler then drives to a pre- arranged area, before switching of the tag, that's how well known
    " hotspots" for suspected persecution are formed.

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    1. Poe's Law. I have genuinely no idea if you're being serious (I really hope not, but if you are, do explain how this "signal" works). Sadly I think Mike probably is serious.

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  5. I think Mike Reilly is a member of the conspiracy theorists, either that or he’s a member of the grouse shooting fraternity. With his opinion I favour the latter.

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