Sunday book review – The Hen Harrier’s Year by Ian Carter and Dan Powell

A book about one of my favourite bird species – the amazing, the beautiful, the persecuted Hen Harrier.  This volume takes the same approach as the authors’ previous The Red Kite’s Year and is a month by month account of what Hen Harriers are doing and what is sometimes done to them. Interleaved amongst the monthly accounts are chapters on History and Status in Britain, Conflict on Grouse Moors, Threats and Survival and The Wider Picture.

This is an exploration and introduction to the ecology of the species and does that job very well. You will learn about the breeding season, diet, movements and longevity of this species. If you are well-versed in the controversial aspects of the bird’s life (eg brood-meddling, illegal persecution, a lowland reintroduction) then you’ll find that these are touched upon in a light but clear way, but they are side issues to the main story which is about the bird itself. Having said that, there is plenty in these pages to interest the newcomer to this bird and those who are more steeped in it. It’s an affectionate portrait of a wonderful species.

Dan Powell’s artwork is very attractive and fills many of the pages. He is rightly the co-author of the book and as well as a visual feast of Hen Harrier images there are many other upland species illustrated.

The cover? A male Hen Harrier – what’s not to like? I’d give it 8/10.

The Hen Harrier’s Year by Ian Carter and Dan Powell is published by Pelagic.


2 Replies to “Sunday book review – The Hen Harrier’s Year by Ian Carter and Dan Powell”

  1. I a must for all who are interested in this bird, although I must be said I am slightly obsessed in this regard. Given the previously excellent book by Ian on the Red Kite this is a book I eagerly anticipate consuming.

  2. Having now got and read this book whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a few things I don’t think it is quite as good as the book of similar title on Red Kites. Why you ask, well I an knows a fair bit about harriers but not in the same intimate way he knows about the minutiae of the Red Kites world. You might think i am being picky and a may well be because I try to read and absorb everything Hen Harrier as an obsessive on that species. I’d still recommend it especially to those wanting to know more about this fabulous bird its trials and tribulations at both the hands of man and nature.

Comments are closed.