Hen harrier in England (IN7.8)

Winter

A small number of hen harriers remain on the moors outside the breeding season, but most move south to spend the winter in lowland areas within England or further south on mainland Europe. Flat landscapes with wide expanses of unbroken wetland, farmland or heath are favoured as they provide ideal conditions for the birdís long foraging flights, low over the ground.


As with many birds of prey the male hen harrier is somewhat smaller than the female and tends to hunt for smaller prey species. RSPB Images

The English population is boosted in winter by variable numbers of immigrants from northern and central Europe and, in some years, the population is thought to be as high as 750 birds. Communal roosts often form and up to 20 birds may gather together to spend the night resting on the ground, concealed from potential predators within a reedbed or other rank vegetation.

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