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 , , , , , , , ,

Barn Owl’s

Barn owl

3 of 4 Barn Owl Chicks, ringed in 2014.

Barn Owls hadn’t been recorded as a breeding species in the Glossop area since sometime in the 1980’s. With increased sightings each year it was fantastic to learn of  a pair breeding nearby in 2014.

Barn Owl

5th Barn Owl Young 2014

There were 5 young at the time of ringing and 4 birds were ringed under licence from the BTO, the 5th bird was very advanced and mobile and moved too far into the crevice to be safely captured.

2015 saw a number of other breeding attempts recorded in our study area, but what we found is that some are breeding in places which we might not have expected, some in sites that could make them vulnerable.

Given the recent breeding success and the small but seemingly growing local population, we though that it would be worth trying some nest boxes in areas where owls are being seen or where the habitat is suitable for Barn Owls.

DOS2At that time we were also in talks with a number of conversation groups about monitoring Barn Owls in Derbyshire. We asked if there might be any funding available to help with this project,  Derbyshire Ornithological Society said they would be willing to provide some                                               help with funding for a number of boxes which would be                                                               manufactured, erected, maintained and monitored by PDRMG .

The boxes were built using the Barn Owl Trust Box design which can be found here

build boxes

Barn Owl Boxes being built

install boxes

Barn Owl Boxes being installed

A number of landowners and farmers expressed an interest in helping with the Barn Owl Project and we have installed some of the boxes in barns and disused outbuildings around the Dark Peak.

Do You Have a Suitable Building?

  • At least 4 metres high.
  • With an opening or hole at least 3 metres above ground level which overlooks open countryside.
  • Where the nestbox can be positioned 3+ metres above the ground.
  • Where the nestbox access hole is visible to an owl from the most likely entrance point.
  • Ideally within 1 km of areas or strips of rough grassland. It doesn’t matter what the building is made of, or used for.
  • Barn Owls can learn to tolerate noise and activity as long as they have something to hide in – such as a nestbox.
  • Rodenticides are a real threat to our Barn Owl Population – Please see this page for information on How to control rats as safely as possible

More information on What Barn Owls need is available from the RSPB and Barn Owl Trust

If you think that you could accommodate a nest box with a view to helping provide a suitable place for Barn Owls to breed, please get in touch here

Finally a big thank you to DOS for their kind sponsorship of the project and thanks also to those who have already had Barn Owl boxes installed on their premises and those that we haven’t quite got around to yet (mainly those a little further afield), let’s hope we can make a difference and see Barn Owls breeding regularly in the boxes provided.

Posted in Nest Boxes, Nest Recording, Owls, peak district, raptor, reporting, ringed bird | Tagged , , , , , ,

Just in time for Migration

hobby wingOne of the young Hobbies we ringed at a nest in Cheshire has unfortunately had a collision with a wire fencing close to the nest site, resulting in damage to the soft tissue of the underside of the wing as can be seen in this picture.



WP_20150827_11_31_46_ProLuckily help was on hand when the bird was found and local birder, falconer and raptor worker Phil was able to collect the bird quickly, despite being very busy at work.




A call to a coupDSCN1268le of friends and the bird was en route to AVS at Northwich. A fantastic team who offer advice and help to the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group when requested.

Thankfully although extremely bruised there were no fractures evident and due to the quick action of all involved hopefully no permanent harm done.

Following cleaning up of the wound (using a falconry hood to keep the bird calm; ‘hoodwinking’ it into thinking it was night-time!), some topical and systemic pain relief/anti-inflammatories and fluid therapy the bird was delivered back to Phil for a short rehabilitation period in his aviary before being released back in to the wild where it quickly rejoined it’s parents and sibling in with plenty of time to recover before the long migration journey south to Africa

Posted in birds of prey, Eurasian Hobby, falco subbuteo, Hobby, Injured bird of prey, Injured raptor, Protection, Rescue, ringed bird, ringed bird of prey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Merlin Recovery – EY03558

One of a brood of 4 Merlin ringed at a confidential site near to Mossley Gtr Manchester on the 1st of July 2015.

This young female was recovered dead, a road casualty in Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire on the 30th of July.

85km South South East, 29 days after ringing, approx 14 days after fledging.

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, Injured bird of prey, Merlin, Nest Recording, Protection, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds

The Merlin, Snowfinch Publishing

merlin bookThe Merlin is a fascinating small falcon, standing outside the usual grouping of the ‘True Falcons’, and with a range that is confined to northern climes, an exclusive preference that is shared by only one other, the much larger Gyrfalcon.

This is the first comprehensive book on the species, covering its complete circumpolar range. The book starts with a general comments on the evolution of the True Falcons and thoughts on their grouping, then covers the general characteristics of the Merlin, the species’ habitat, its diet, breeding (territory, displays, pair formation, nest sites, eggs, chick growth, nest predation and breeding success), migration and wintering, survival, the Merlin’s friend and foes, and estimations of the world population. It also includes data gathered with a unit flown on a male Merlin.

Previous books by the author include the award-winning Gyrfalcon (co-produced with Russian expert Eugene Potapov), the Snowy Owl (also with Eugene Potapov), the first field guide to birds and mammals of the Arctic, and The Arctic: The Complete Story which covered all aspects of the area.

For further information and photograph scans, contact Richard Sale –

Posted in Protection

Sparrowhawk Recoveries – DD47654 (male) and EL61961 (female).

The 4th and 5th of last weeks ringing recoveries were Sparrowhawks.

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

DD47654 Male Sparrowhawk, 1 of a brood of 5 ringed at Newmillerdam, WakefieldWest Yorkshire July 2005 – Found dead September 2014, at RenishawDerbyshire Duration: 3348 days Distance: 41 km.

DD47654 copy

Click image to enlarge


A brood of 5 Sparrowhawk
















EL61961 Female, Sparrowhawk, 1 of a brood of 5 ringed at Silkstone Beck, South Yorkshire July 2014 – Found dying in Thurlstone 11/11/2014 Duration: 122 days Distance: 7 km.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Posted in birds of prey, dead bird of prey, hit glass, hit window, peak district, raptor, Recoveries, reporting, reporting ringed birds, ringed bird, ringed bird of prey, Sparrowhawk | Tagged , , , , , , ,