Could you help us tag more harriers?

The Nidderdale Raptor Study Group, in collaboration with the Northern England Raptor Forum (NERF) have set up a new and generous fundraising opportunity to raise money for the RSPB Investigations Team.

Yorkshire-based artist Dan Evans is kindly creating an A2-sized oil painting of a male hen harrier, which has been donated to the Nidderdale Raptor Study Group for an online auction; all proceeds will go to RSPB Investigations in order to buy satellite tags for hen harriers.

The painting was inspired after Dan had spent time with members of the Raptor Study Group monitoring hen harriers locally. This is a unique opportunity to acquire the original spectacular painting. To place your bid for the painting please click this link:

In addition to the auction, a limited number of signed prints will be available. The price of these are £50+p+p (A3) and £80+p+p (A2). Click here for details:

All profits from the prints will go to fund satellite tags through the RSPB Investigations Team.

If you don’t want to bid on the print but would still like to support NERF's fundraiser, you can donate money for satellite tags here:

The UK’s hen harrier population remains perilously small, and persecution on land managed for driven grouse shooting continues to be the primary factor limiting both population growth and expansion.

Satellite tagging has been instrumental in understanding more about the lives of hen harriers and the threats they face. The solar-powered tags are fitted to young birds just before they leave the nest. The birds wear them like tiny backpacks for the rest of their lives, allowing the RSPB to monitor their whereabouts and behaviour. The tags continue transmitting even after a bird dies, allowing RSPB staff to locate and recover the tag. If a tag which has been functioning reliably suddenly and unexpectedly stops transmitting, RSPB Investigations officers will be deployed to carry out a ground search at the bird’s last known location. Too often in these cases the tag and body of the bird is never found, raising concerns that the bird has been killed, and the tag disposed of.

A government study published in 2019, based on data from 58 satellite-tagged British hen harriers, revealed that over 10 years 72% were either confirmed to have been illegally killed or disappeared suddenly with no evidence of a tag malfunction. It also found that the likelihood of harriers dying or disappearing increased as their use of grouse moors increased.

Since 2018, 45 satellite-tagged hen harriers are known to have been killed or gone missing in suspicious circumstances. Many of these incidents have been brought to light thanks to data from satellite tags.

Mark Thomas, head of Investigations UK, said: "We are hugely grateful to NERF, The Nidderdale Raptor Study Group and to Dan for helping us continue our vital work understanding and protecting hen harriers. Everyone who places a bid or makes a donation is doing their bit to help ensure a better and more just future for these spectacular birds."