Sunday, 15 December 2013

Heather leaves her home territory in South Cork

Heather has left her long-standing surroundings of tillage land in South Cork that she has called home since arriving there in early September, over three months ago. After a long trip from Kerry to Wicklow to Meath and Antrim, Heather returned south for Cork, perhaps with an experienced female harrier and made South Cork her home, living well off the land there. Obersevers on the Irish Hen Harrier Winter Survey have however reported changes around Heather's roost since early December, when the stubble fields where she would have hunted were being sprayed with herbicide and ploughed up. Her day visit to West Waterford last week signalled these changes and her impending move.

Heather's is the story of the Irish Hen Harrier population - habitat loss or change pushing the birds to have to leave. Where will she go now? Tonight, she is in an area of North Cork where Hen Harriers would once have flourished, but now there is intensive dairy pastures with hardly a hedgerow to be seen. Let's hope she finds somewhere productive and safe.

Miranda's tag has not transmitted since she was last known to be in Mayo on 01 December.

Heather has left her home range in South Cork. She travelled to West Waterford, then returned to her home patch, but has since moved on to North Cork in search of a new territory since habitat loss/changes have occurred in her home territory.

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