Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative 2018

Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group fully understands and supports the position taken by the RSPB with regards to the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative, PDRMG will continue to work closely with the RSPB regarding population data and raptor persecution. After 6 years involvement it is clear that illegal persecution remains the main issue impacting breeding populations of the larger raptors (including Raven and Short-eared Owl) in our study area. Disappointingly the initial objectives of the Initiative have not been met and despite assurances from the representatives of the Grouse shooting interests sitting on the Initiative, the Moorland Association, that there was a willingness to work towards increasing breeding populations of raptors in the Dark Peak there has been little evidence on the ground of any genuine intent amongst the shooting estates involved.

We were particularly disappointed that when the 2016-17 report was eventually published that the group was unable to unanimously agree the strong public statement that the results merited (the only dissenting member being the MA). It was even more disappointing to read the comments from the gamekeepers’ representative published on Raptor Persecution UK blog, especially as the Initiative have been assured repeatedly that persecution issues are acknowledged and that steps were being undertaken to ensure a resolution. It is clear from the comments that this is not the case, coupled with the fact that they refused the opportunity to further engage with the Initiative when asked to participate directly. PDRMG will continue to assist the authorities with regards to any suspected cases of illegal persecution of raptors in our study area.

We have considered carefully our options with regard to our further involvement in the Initiative. It hasn’t been an easy decision and it remains an issue of contention, however, we are going to continue (in the short term at least), to support the efforts of the Peak District National Park Authority to continue with the Initiative.

We are hoping that 2018 will be seen as a real opportunity for the Grouse shooting interests operating in the Dark Peak to try and demonstrate that shoots can be viable without having to resort to illegal persecution of our iconic birds of prey.

PDRMG will continue to monitor site occupation, nesting attempts and outcomes of all our study species providing information to the Bird of Prey Initiative, the RSPB and the BTO. We hope to see a noticeable increase in occupation of historic breeding sites of the larger species and that there is no evidence of continuing illegal persecution. We will review our position at the end of Spring by which time we should know if species such as Goshawk and Peregrine are being allowed to breed without incident.

Posted in birds of prey, Falco peregrinus, Hen Harrier, peak district, Peregrine Falcon, raptor, reporting | 1 Comment

Peatland for birds conference

Peatland for birds Program pdf

Booking can be made online here

Posted in Protection

Ringing Recovery – Peregrine Falcon Orange 3Z

In May 2016, PDRMG were invited by Wakefield Naturalists’ Society to ring the young Peregrine Falcons at the Cathedral in Wakefield.

4 Birds were ringed with BTO metal rings and fitted with Orange Darvic Rings 3Z, 4Z, 5Z and 6Z.

Darvic rings are fitted to help us better understand the movements of urban nesting Peregrines following natal dispersal.







We received notice from the BTO of the recovery of one of the birds GV25266 – Orange 3Z.

The bird had collided with overhead powerlines near Ripon, North Yorkshire and had died.

56KM North of the cathedral and 124 days after ringing.






We would like to thank the finder for reporting this unfortunate bird, more details of what to do if you find a ringed bird or a dead bird of prey can be found HERE

Posted in birds of prey, Darvic, dead bird of prey, Falco peregrinus, Hit wires, Peregrine Falcon, Protection, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds, ringed bird, ringed bird of prey, Wakefield Cathedral, Wakefield Naturalists’ Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The North of England Raptor Conference 2016   

NERF LogoThis year’s North of England Raptor Conference is being hosted by:-

The Durham Upland Bird Study Group and

The Durham Bird Club

and will be held on Saturday 19th November at the Xcel Centre ( Aycliffe Business Park, County Durham, DL5 6AP.

It is open to all with an interest in raptors in the uplands.  To learn more about the full one-day programme and how to book please go to .

Alternatively please contact: for more information.

Posted in Protection

Conference – Raptors, Uplands & Peatlands – Conservation, Land Management & Issues

Friday September 9th & Saturday September 10th 2016 at the Sheffield Showroom & Workstation

conf-hhAt the Uplands, Peatlands & Raptors conference, we will address the hugely controversial issues of why Britain has lost its upland hen harriers, and much more besides. This is a major national conference with relevance to wider international issues as well.

This landmark event will bring together key academics and practitioners to examine the
ecological and conservation issues of raptors on uplands generally, and peatlands specifically, from bogs to heather moors.

The first day (9th September) will be a full day of presentations with an optional informal evening meal which needs to be booked separately. The following day (Saturday 10th
September) will have plenary sessions in the morning followed by an after-lunch discussion forum in the early afternoon. Later in the afternoon there will be a field visit by
coach / own transport to the Ringinglow area before returning to Sheffield early evening.

The conference will be opened by local MP, Angela Smith. Speakers for Friday include: Mark Avery, Alan Charles, Steve Redpath, Philip Merricks, Pat Thompson, Adrian Jowitt and Stephen Murphy. And, on Saturday morning there will be presentations by Barry O’Donoghue, Rhodri Thomas, Alan Fielding and Sonja Ludwig.
More information and a booking form are available from our website . Costs start from £15 per day for volunteers [without lunch] to £35 for volunteers etc, including lunch and refreshments, and £85 per day for academics, agencies, etc. If you wish to be put on our mailing list or to offer support or a poster presentation, please email: or telephone 0114 2724227.

Posted in Protection

Two recoveries

We recently received the details of two recoveries of birds we have ringed. Both are cause of death unknown, could we please encourage people to consider reporting dead raptors if they find them, you can find more details here.

The first was a Long-eared Owl G82800. one of a brood of four ringed on 5/5/2014 at a confidential site in West Yorkshire (please note maps are representative only and are deliberately inaccurate to ensure the safety of nesting birds).

The bird was found freshly dead 676 days after ringing, 4KM from the nest site.






The 2nd bird was a Raven MA18685, one of a brood of four ringed in Cheshire on 13/4/2013.

This bird was found dead 85KM NNW from where it was ringed. Found nr Slaidburn, Forest of Bowland, Lancs 1074 days after ringing.MA18685







We would like to thank the finders for reporting these unfortunate birds, more details of what to do if you find a ringed bird or a dead bird of prey can be found HERE

Posted in raptor, Raven, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds, ringed bird | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Reporting Dead Birds of Prey

Please see this page for info on reporting dead raptors, if you would like any assistance please do not hesitate to Contact Us and we will do our best to help.

On Friday I collected a dead barn owl from a local birder, he wasn’t sure if I’d be interested in receiving it or not.


Although I can’t be 100% I am fairly sure that this particular bird died from starvation, the weather hasn’t been optimal for feeding owls and I can feel from the birds breast that it has been underfed for a significant period.


This has it got me thinking about how we can encourage more people to report any dead Birds of Prey and Owls, so that they can be collected and sent to The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme for analysis.

The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS) is a long-term, national monitoring scheme that quantifies the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory and fish-eating birds in Britain.

They monitor the levels of contaminants to determine how and why they vary between species and regions, how they are changing over time, and the effects that they may have on individual birds and on their populations.

It is also important as Birds of Prey and Owls can be the victims of persecution, as recently seen in this request for information from Derbyshire Police from February 3rd 2016

Reward offered as more birds of prey are illegally killed in the Peak District National Park

Derbyshire Police and the RSPB are appealing for information following the illegal killing of two birds of prey near to Glossop, Derbyshire. A £1000 reward has been offered by the RSPB for information leading to a conviction.

On September 09, 2015, a dead osprey was found to the west of Derbyshire Level. A post mortem on the bird revealed that both its legs had been recently broken, injuries which were consistent with it being caught in a spring trap prior to its death. Ospreys are rare visitors to the Peak District and this one would have been on migration to West Africa.

On September 30, a buzzard was found shot dead close to Hurst Reservoir, only a short distance from where the osprey was found. This follows the shooting of another buzzard in the same area in March 2014.

Sergeant Darren Belfield from Derbyshire police said: “I would appeal to anyone who might have any information as to who may be responsible for these cruel acts to contact the police on 101. The continued persecution of birds of prey in the Peak District is totally unacceptable. If you suspect someone of committing any crimes against wildlife, act now. Your call will be dealt with in confidence. If you don’t feel you can talk to the police, pass the information to us through Crimestoppers by ringing 0800 555 111.”

RSPB Investigations Officer Alan Firth said: “Yet again, we are seeing the senseless killing of fantastic birds of prey in the National Park.”

Last year, the RSPB published its annual Birdcrime Report 2014, which revealed Derbyshire as one of the worst places in the UK for bird of prey persecution. In 2014, the RSPB received 16 reports of bird of prey incidents in the county including a shot buzzard, a shot sparrowhawk and an illegally trapped goshawk.

Posted in Barn Owl, birds of prey, dead bird of prey, Injured bird of prey, injured Owl, Injured raptor, Owls, PBMS, peak district, raptor, reporting, reporting ringed birds | Tagged , , , , , , , ,