Today is Hen Harrier Day across the UK. Why do Hen Harriers need a dedicated day you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple... These beautiful birds are on the verge of extinction in England, due to persecution, largely on the intensively managed grouse moors of our uplands. In 2013 not a single bird fledged, and this year already 5 Hen Harriers have "disappeared" from their breeding sites.
Trapping and killing these birds is illegal, but that hasn't stopped their mysterious disappearances and decline. A quick google of the issues will tell you that not everyone is behind the protection of the Hen Harrier - there is a conflict of interest with those who like to shoot Red Grouse, some of whom seem to view the near-extinct bird as a grouse-poaching pest.
You can find out more about these moorland ghosts, what is being done to protect them and how you can get involved by following the links below:
Mark Avery Blog
Birders Against Wildlife Crime