Sunday, 9 February 2014

Wing Tagged Birds provide really interesting info!

A young male, wing tagged in West Clare in 2008
Wing Tagging began in Ireland in 2006 as a pilot project between the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Irish Raptor Study Group. Since then much has been learned from simple colours on the birds, identifying what year they were born, where they were born and which individual they are. More on wing tagging can be found on this blog by clicking here: Wing Tagging

Over the weekend, three sightings of wing tagged Hen Harriers have come to light. One of a bird born in the Slieve Blooms in 2013, now at South Wexford after arriving with a companion to add to two other harriers that have been at the roost all winter long. The interesting thing about this is that another roost in North Wexford, which has held 2 harriers heretofore, including a 2013 Slieve Blooms wing tagged bird, now apparently has no harriers. So did the two from the North Wexford roost travel together to the South Wexford roost? This is highly possible if not indeed likely and would lend further credence to the hypothesis that Heather our satellite tagged bird from Kerry, travelled from Northern Ireland to South Cork with a colleague (see previous posts in September 2013).

Another very exciting potential find through wing tags came from Scotland, where what sounds like a female Hen Harrier with a left green tag was seen near Glasgow. As with all sightings, quality control was applied and there is a very good chance that this indeed was a Hen Harrier from Ireland, wing tagged in 2008. In 2008, a female from West Clare was seen in NE Antrim and again in SW Scotland so is this the same individual?

Finally, Heather and Miranda are still at their home ranges in Cork and Mayo respectively. Lets hope for an improvement in the weather. It is very tough for all widlife.

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