Henry is struggling to find a mate and settle down to raise a family.
That’s because most of his potential girlfriends are illegally killed – and if he does find a partner and they try to nest on a moor managed for driven grouse shooting the chances are they won’t be successful.
Henry and his kind are among the most illegally persecuted birds in Britain.
In 2013 no Hen Harriers bred successfully in England – for the first time since the 1960s when laws were brought in to protect them. In 2014 just a handful of Hen Harriers managed to breed in England – even though experts say that there is more than enough good habitat for many more pairs!
This makes Henry very sad – and very lonely! But Henry’s a brave young bird, and a determined one too.
And he knows that more and more of us care what happens to him.
So he is flying around the British Isles in search of a significant other and letting everyone know about the dangers he faces.
And we’re helping him post daily updates on these websites:
- Here on Henry’s page on the BAWC website
- On Mark Avery‘s blog
- And on the Raptor Persecution Scotland website
Henry also has his own twitter account @HenryHenHarrier and he’d love to hear from you!
So why are we doing this?
It’s sometimes easy to forget that while many of us who are interested in birds and wildlife crime know exactly what a Hen Harrier is, the vast majority of the public have never even heard of a harrier let alone know what’s been happening to them.
So – as part of our ongoing work to highlight illegal persecution – we want to take Henry (and therefore Hen Harriers) ‘mainstream’!
We will accompany Henry on a tour and photograph our lonely male in different locations all over the British Isles (please see the galleries below). Some photos will be serious, some will be more light-hearted – but as they build we hope you’ll enjoy them and understand much more what we’re trying to do.
And of course we’ll be handing out specially-written information flyers [flyers in prep] as we go, explaining why we’re there and what we’re doing.
And judging by how fascinated kids and their parents were on Henry’s introductory day out we are going to have quite an impact!
If you’d like to help please download the flyers and give them out yourself. Come and meet Henry. If you can help us with planning a day out somewhere please let us know.
And if you see or hear about any crimes against Hen Harriers please let the police know (on 101) and/or call the RSPB Investigations Team immediately on 01767 680551 (England) or 0131 317410 (Scotland) – they need our help to Recognise, Record, and Report wildlife crime and your call will always be treated seriously.
Vote National Bird
David Lindo (AKA The Urban Birder) feels that the Robin’s many decades as unofficial ‘National Bird’ needs to be challenged, so he is fronting a campaign to help find Britain’s champion. Running alongside this year’s General Election will be this alternative Election, which we’d love you to take part in.
There are ten finalists – many of them familiar and well-loved garden birds. There is however, one rank outsider that was pushed in to the finals by a swell of support from birders just like you and us – the magnificent Hen Harrier.
Could Henry – well, not Henry himself but his species – be voted Britain’s National Bird? Wouldn’t that be something. How wonderful would it be for us, and how irritating for the criminals that would then be responsible for wiping out the UK’s favourite bird…
on May 7th at votenationalbird.com/
Have you seen Henry? Many serious birders don’t see Hen Harriers very often anymore, and most people certainly haven’t seen Henry yet!
But one day Henry will meet you…and we’ll be there to explain the ongoing illegal persecution that has meant the Hen Harrier is all but wiped out as a breeding bird in England.
In the meantime, here are some galleries of Henry out and about …click on any of the images to open up a Lightbox with captions
- Henry in Derbyshire: March 2015
- Henry in Wiltshire: April 2015
- Henry in Norfolk: April 2015
- Henry in Yorkshire: April/May 2015
As this page develops we will add more and more information to it. We’re not going to say who Henry really is (we don’t want to turn ourselves into targets, too, eh) – let’s just say there’s a whole team of ‘Henrys’ at work on this project and with your help we can highlight the illegal persecution this supposedly highly-protected bird is suffering from!