Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Bad news about Blue

Sad, sad news .. we have serious concerns about Blue (the young male Hen Harrier satellite tagged at Langholm this summer). Blue’s satellite tag signal has ceased to transmit. The signal ended suddenly, without indication in the data of why it should do so. The most likely explanation is illegal persecution. There are other possible explanations, such as a natural death or some kind of tag failure but they are considerably less likely.
The matter is now in the hands of the police.  


  1. This is indeed deeply depressing news. Can you post the last known location of the bird please? It would be very interesting to know whether Blue was close to any known ‘hunting’ grounds.

  2. Very sad news. It would be important to see a prompt and full investigation given persecution is suspected.

  3. Martin, I am sorry but I don't have the exact last known location. All the information I have access to is posted here. As soon as the police complete their investigation and information is released I'll post it here.

  4. Last location not by chance anywhere near a wind farm / turbine? I can't remember the exact figures for known HH mortality in 2012, but I seem to recall the results were something like 2 x killed by Wind Turbines (http://tinyurl.com/q6xhjs4), 1 x possibly? shot (http://tinyurl.com/onbdesj). On the latter, apparently there were some irregularities in traces of various metals found in the forensic investigation's report that casts doubt on the 'shot' hypothesis (http://tinyurl.com/p7xjzp6).

    On tag malfunction, what are the manufacturer's published figures for Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of the satellite tags, and what are the outlier figures?

    Always best not to jump to conclusions on such contentious issues in my experience. Let any investigation run its course before making sensationalist headline-grabbing claims about 'most likely explanations'.