RaptorLIFE have been busy this summer monitoring hen harrier – a big thank you to all the volunteers who gave up many hours of their time to help out! The season culminated with a total of ten chicks satellite tagged, with four of those from the Duhallow region. This is a joint project between RaptorLIFE, the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Irish Raptor Study Group. All three organisations are involved in the research and monitoring of Ireland’s hen harriers and the progress of these tagged hen harriers can be followed on our new blog; http://henharriertracker.blogspot.ie/

Why not show your support and follow the blog! There will be weekly updates. This is not just an insight into the fate of hen harriers but is also an indication of the health of our uplands in general. For a taste of what the blog will cover here is the text from the first instalment posted on the 9th September 2016

"Welcome to the first instalment of the “Hen Harrier Tracker Blog” produced and maintained by the Irish Raptor Study Group, IRD Duhallow Raptor LIFE and the National Parks & Wildlife Service. All three organisations are involved in the research and monitoring of Ireland’s hen harriers. In 2016, and building on previous work, a programme of attaching satellite tags to near fledged harrier chicks (circa 28 days old) was started. This research work will allow us to better monitor the population in order that this raptor can be conserved for years to come.

Over the coming months, and hopefully years, we intend to blog the life stories of those harriers that successfully fledge and strike off from the breeding grounds. Life can be tough for young birds in an ever-changing landscape and no doubt only a proportion of those tagged chicks will survive the next 24 months or longer before they are mature enough to return to the uplands to breed themselves.

Some of the birds will be named at this stage whilst others will be identified by their tag number but all their stories will be charted here so that you can follow the fortunes of the class of 2016 as they head for their first winter."

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