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Hen Harrier

“Circus Cyaneus”

This stunning bird of prey is still persecuted to this day with illegal traps set and poison left and all because 

they like grouse to eat. 

They live in open areas and on upland heather moorland.

The males are a pale grey while the female is brown with a white rump and  barred tail and are often referred to as “ringtail”

They eat birds and mammals.

They are between 44 and 52cm in length

 They have a wingspan of 100 to 120cm 

They weigh in at approximately 300 to 400g for a male and 400 to 600g for a female.

They nest on the ground made of sticks and lined with grass and leaves. They lay between 4 and 8 eggs and the female incubates for 32 days.

The male provides food for the female and the chicks.

The food passing between a male and a female 

is an amazing sight.

 They practice “kleptoparasitism” this involves harassing competitors like short eared owls until they drop their prey.

I have seen these stunning birds close up and I’m travelling back to Mull in May 19 to continue observing them in the wild.

There are plenty of grouse for them and us so let’s leave them alone and preserve them for generations to come.