Northern Ireland has one of the lowest diversities of raptors in Europe, with only seven species of breeding diurnal raptor and three species of owl. These are the hen harrier, buzzard, peregrine, kestrel, sparrowhawk, goshawk and merlin, whilst the owl species are the long-eared, barn and short-eared owls.
It is an offence to disturb any nesting bird, and monitoring of raptor nests is regulated by licence (issued by Environment & Heritage Service). Determination of occupancy and productivity of raptors is the key output to our work. With raptors being at the top of the food chain they are an indicator species and data on their populations allows insight into any potential problems with the surrounding environment. This is only possible with the collection of annual data on nesting success and territory occupation. For any info on how you can join our group or for any other info, email us here!