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Irish birds of Prey Hen Harrier. The Hen Harrier is one of few birds of prey that live in Ireland. A Hen Harrier is a middle sized bird and mainly eats.

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Presentation on theme: "Irish birds of Prey Hen Harrier. The Hen Harrier is one of few birds of prey that live in Ireland. A Hen Harrier is a middle sized bird and mainly eats."— Presentation transcript:

1 Irish birds of Prey Hen Harrier

2 The Hen Harrier is one of few birds of prey that live in Ireland. A Hen Harrier is a middle sized bird and mainly eats small birds and mammals. On the next page you will see a male and female Hen Harrier.

3 Male and female Hen Harrier. The first bird is a female and the other is a male

4 Hen Harrier The Hen Harrior has long wings and a long tail. It has like all birds of prey (raptors) a hooked bill suitable for eating meat. Hen Harriers are most easily seen on the coasts in winter months.

5 Hen Harrier The hen Harrier is between 45 and 55 cm long with a wingspan of between cm. The male and female also differ in weight. Males weigh an average of 350 g and females an average of 530 g.

6 How to spot a male and a female hen harrier. MALE: An adult male Hen Harrier is pale grey with black wing tips. FEMALE: Female Hen Harriers are larger than Male Hen Harriers and are brown in colour with a white rump and bars on their tales.

7 Hen Harrier This is a picture showing the distribution of the Hen Harrier in Ireland. As you can see the main distribution area is on the coast during the winter and in the summer they are found in the north and south of the country.

8 Hen Harrier The first breeding survey of hen harriers in Ireland was undertaken in , with more work in 2000 to fill in some remaining gaps in coverage. The survey aimed for complete coverage of the main breeding areas in the south midlands, south-west and some border areas of Counties Donegal and Monaghan, with randomly selected areas of 10 km square where breeding records were scarce or scattered.

9 Breeding of Hen Harriers During summer months Hen Harriers breed in upland areas particularly in the south and west of Ireland ie., Cork, Limerick and Kerry. These areas hold approximately a third of the breeding Irish Hen Harrier population. They make their nests during the spring and each produce between 1 and 6 eggs.

10 The females are responsible for brooding eggs and hatching the chicks when they are young and for the first five weeks they spend most of their time on the nest. The males provide nearly all of the food needed by both the adults and the chicks. They deliver the food in a brilliant aerial move called a “food pass”. As the male approaches the nest he calls to the female who rises up to meet him. The male either drops the food for the female to catch or delivers it to her directly. The earliest broods of Hen Harriers may leave the nest during June but most chicks flee during July and are on their own by August. They then follow the adult birds to milder lowland areas for the winter.


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