Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Plenty to read!

I went for a walk the other day and saw three species of bird of prey in one field, a Peregrine appeared over me only to be chased off by one of the resident Kestrels which was closely followed by some sky dancing Buzzards. Well worth the walk out! I have also seen plenty of Sparrowhawks recently in built up areas, each week I travel to the outskirts of Manchester and each week I manage to catch a glimpse of a Spar soaring above one of the many large gardens. They are obviously adapting to population expansion better than other species.

I have come across some new tracking sites for birds of prey, I say new they are to me and sadly one of them is now no longer running but I thought someone may find it interesting for reference and research they include four species and I will be putting them on the website links page.


I will also be adding some websites to the links page that I have recently come across one of which I thought was already there as I regularly follow its news page.


There is a new piece on the European Raptor website about the scientific study for the Hen Harrier Framework here in the UK.


If you manage to read the Hen Harrier framework and the 90 pages aren't enough for you why not take a look at this scientific paper based on the whereabouts of non-breeding populations of Short Toed Eagles.


Also in the UK the BBC Autumnwatch series is well underway and if you caught the first episode you will have seen Roy Dennis an Osprey expert following the progress of three Welsh Osprey chicks. The chicks were fitted with GPS tracking devices and the show is now following there progress each week, catch the other episodes below.


Also in the UK the RSPB have recently advertised 3 job vacancies relating to the safeguarding of certain species of birds of prey on managed land. The species in question is the Hen Harrier which as you might know is now one of the rarest breeding birds in the UK.


Or if you love Ospreys try


On a sadder note you may remember the story on this blog about Hagpa the young Philippine Eagle who was caught by a farmer but rescued by the Philippine Eagle Foundation. The bird was eventually released and thought to be observed interacting with the parent birds which was fantastic news. Sadly this story hasn't ended this well and a Philippine Eagle was found dead thought to be shot and also thought to be Hagpa.


Also in the news relating to raptor persecution, the raptor persecution Scotland blog brings more stories ranging from further raptor deaths in the South West of England, shooting estate activities and policing matters, you can also find out more on the Raptor Politics site.


On a lighter note to end the latest blog why not take a look at this website created by artists trying to put there artwork to good use by raising awareness about conservation issues. One current project is based on the Philippine Eagle and the art work is truly stunning!


Many thanks for your time and don't forget to have a good look through all the pages, I plan on tidying and updating the book page next.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Great News!

I have to admit as much as I enjoy compiling the blog and researching for it its hard work fitting it in with everything else I have going on in life. That means a couple of weeks might go past without a post and also things I would like to start take a bit longer. One of those things I started and didn't finish is the bird of prey profile page on the right hand side of the blog main page, the aim was to create a page that is changed every month with a new species of bird of prey and a fact file. This would have taken a lot of time and effort, then I had a fantastic idea and sent an e-mail.

Some of you may have come across ARKive.org on the internet and the fantastic resource of facts, images and videos covering a whole host of wildlife, this includes a variety of birds of prey. I decided to contact the team at ARKive to find out if I could create a link between this blog and the ARKive site to help with the blogs BOP profile page, they got back in touch saying they would love to join forces and spread the word about birds of prey.

They also informed me that the top viewed video on the site is one of an Osprey which went global and has had over 700,000 hits. I have no doubt that some of you may have seen the video but I thought what a great species to start with so why  not visit the page via the link below.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Cooling Off!

Well the days are really geting shorter and the cool air is starting to arrive, this is when people start telling me I should swap my shorts for trousers! I am in the process of building boxes for a few different species of birds of prey in my local area, I need to get them up sooner rather than later so that the birds can get used to them and hopefully use them for the winter ready for spring. One species I am focusing on is the Little Owl, in Cheshire the grazed farm land with old Oak trees has proved to be perfect habitat for these owls but in recent years myself and friends have noticed a drop in pairs. I knew I had at least one pair on my local patch and the great thing is Little Owls are sedentary and hold territory all year round so myself and a friend decided to see if we could locate the territory(s) so we could put some boxes up for the birds.

So on Friday night we went out armed with our Little Owl MP3 call to locate the pairs, now I say night but Little Owls start becoming active at dusk but you will also see them out during the day. The first pair I knew about responded immediatly but then we heard another owl from the other side of the field, now it is fairly common that if the land is good for Little Owls you will get territorys very close to each other and we put this down to being a second pair based on the distance apart. We drove to the back of the farm where a pair of Kestrels had nested this year and played the call, we didnt have to wait long for a response from an Oak tree and also a large pile of rubble out in the field. SO were putting it down as potentially three pairs of Little Owl on the area of farm we found and in the next couple of weeks we will be back out in the fields choosing suitable locations for the boxes.

Want to see a bit of Little Owl action then have a look below

Other news from the bird of prey world at the moment Red Kites are doing extremely well in Ireland after an extensive release project http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/red-kite-ireland2011.html#cr

Did anyone catch the opening Autumnwatch 2011 on Friday, if you didn't then click on the BBC iPlayer link as there is a great piece by Roy Dennis one of the worlds leading Osprey experts and his role is radio tagging the three Osprey chicks born in Monmouthshire, Wales.

Back onto the topic of Red Kites I have come across another website based on these birds back in the UK and also asking people to take part in a survey of feeding Red Kites in the UK, sadly I am not lucky enough to have Red Kites in the area never mind feeding the birds in my back garden. Have a look below

I have also had a message informing me of a society created for Turkey Vultures Society, I have only had a brief glance at the website but it seems to have all the information you might need on these highly adaptable birds. http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/

I am currently in the process of tidying up the Books page as I have added several new titles to my book case and I am also trying to set up something exciting for the I've never heard of that bird of prey page on the right hand tool bar.

Hope you enjoy and keep coming back!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Persecution Updates!

I forgot to mention those of you who are interested in following the persecution and political side to birds of prey in the UK need to keep following Raptor Politics and Raptor Persecution Scotland Blog. Every day more things come to light about previous story and articles I may have linked on this blog which is usually expanded more on these two pages.



Raptors around the world!

Well it feels like being abroad here in the UK with the lovely warm weather we have just had, perfect for watching young Common Buzzards stretching their wings and also Sparrowhawks thermalling in the blue skies. I'm going to get a sore neck with all this looking up. I have been a bit busy lately at work with the students coming back so I apologise for the lack of entries but hopefully you have been following things via our bird of prey links page. Well I have got plenty of stuff for you to read below and the blog will be getting a bit of clean up and update.

So what have the birds of the prey been upto from around the world, well I'm that behind there has been 3 Wildlife Extra newsletters I have missed.

The Autumn migration is well underway with thousands of birds moving to warmer climbs, this is no easy journey especially when your route includes Malta.

An Osprey found injured by fishing line has had a happy ending but is this happening all to ofren with fishing line?


Some of the best known Peregrines in the UK live at Symonds Yat and this year they surprised the viewers of the breeding season with the late arrival of a smaller juvenil.

The Hen Harrier continued this year to be the most persecuted raptor in the UK with only 4 pairs in England, anyone who follows the Hen Harrier issues closely will have heard of the Langholm Project a unique project to find out if Hen Harriers and Red Grouse shooting can co-exist.

On a sadder note is the continued persecution of birds of prey in the UK, below are just three stories that have come to light albeit a little late in the day.

The Sea Eagle camera based in Australia has recently announced they have had there millionth viewer, why not catch up on it all before it fledges.

Now something for our extreme raptor enthusiasts, below are three scientific papers that have recently landed in my inbox, so if your keen to find out something a bit more in depth about raptors from around the world below you can read about Harpy Eagles in Serra Bonita, Semi Collared Hawk in Northern Peru and the effects of radio back packs on Red Kites in England.

Two more things before I finish this post, firstly the Raptor Research Foundation September Newsletter is available on this link http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/13983865/1425690703/name/Wingspan-Sept2011.pdf and a website researching Arctic Raptors http://www.arcticraptors.ca/ you can find this on the links page.

Hope you enjoy all the above, I'm off to tidy up the blog and add a new page. Don't forget we are now on Twitter you can follow us at http://twitter.com/#!/raptor_aid and why not add us as a friend on Facebook at http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Raptor-Aid/100002720194890