The Hen Harrier Diaries: Entry No. 5
The Hen Harrier breeding season is now in full swing, with birds occupying all four territories checked over the last week.
One of the sites checked was the territory of Penny the young female from the Hen Harrier Diaries 2015, Penny and her male companion are now both present, with the male affectionately following her every move, the male is doing everything he can ti impress Penny with some spectacular sky dancing and so far she seems to be impressed.
The second site that was checked has produced some anxious moments during previous watches, this is the site where records of Harriers breeding date back as far as 1955 ( as reported in the Hen Harrier Diaries: Entry No 4) it was a huge relief to finally see both male and female present, hopefully they can now settle down and continue the long tradition of Harriers breeding here.
On our arrival at the 3rd site we had two males and a female circling simultaneously. With one male departing the region the remaining birds were then able to concentrate on the job at hand, with the remaining male caring for the females every need, returning from a hunting foray with a Bank Vole tantalising the anxious female with food parcel, with the male hanging on to the prey for several minutes the female grew impatient and tried to wrestle the prey from the male's grasp, he eventually gave in to the female's request to release the prey. Hopefully we will have reports of them nest building in our next update.
Elsewhere we checked a site that didn't have a breeding attempt last year, hopefully that will change this year, with both male and female occupying the territory at present, with both male and female checking out potential nesting sites hopefully they can soon find a suitable area for nesting.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Hen Harrier Ireland.