Satellite Tracking

Our hen harrier satellite tracking is carried out as part of our RaptorTrack programme (  Karen Couper of the Cairngorms National Park Authority, one of the partners in the project, put out a request for information on a suitable hen harrier’s nest with young which we could satellite tag for the raptor tracking project.  She received a reply from Glentanar Estate on Deeside and we tagged hen harrier chicks from this estate in both 2010 and 2011.

Photo by Peter Cairns

On 29th June 2010 I drove over and met Colin McLean, the wildlife manager, at the estate office.  After driving through a glen, we walked up onto the moors, where Colin showed me the nest containing three young in the long heather. I ringed all three chicks and fitted solar powered satellite transmitters on two of them: a 12g Microwave Telemetry solar PTT- 100 on the female and a lighter 9.5gm Microwave Telemetry solar PTT- 100 on the male.  We did not see the parents but there were fresh meadow pipit feathers in the nest, and the chicks were well fed.  We named them Glen and Tanar.   Colin checked on 11th July and saw that the young harriers were flying near the nest area.

In 2011 we fitted a transmitter to another chick from Glentanar Estate. She was the only female in a nest of four chicks and we  named her Keen.

Sincere thanks to Michael Bruce of Glentanar, and Colin McLean, Wildlife Manager.   Note that these smaller radio transmitters do not give GPS accuracy but rely on the older technology which calculates locations with accuracies from 150 metres to well over 1 km.

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