What could you be doing for birds of prey right now?

I often get asked what can people do to help their local birds of prey or even birds of prey globally and its a bit of an open ended answer really, there is a huge amount you could do for birds of prey and the really amazing thing is it can have a good effect on your life and well being as well as the birds.

So what can you do locally??

Habitat management is something that is crucial for any form of wildlife including birds of prey because if you create a diverse and healthy habitat for every thing else then the top of the food chain also benefits. Not everyone has access or owns large areas of land to be able to make direct impacts on local landscapes but you could join your local wildlife trust and help on their reserves or work with your local village or town council to ensure they manage their green spaces with wildlife in mind. You may also know a local farmer so why not speak to them about leaving a few margins or corners of a field to go rough, the Barn owl or Kestrel will be very grateful.

field margin

If you can achieve some of the above and have some good habitat for a local bird of prey then why not look at erecting a nest box for them, there are four species that will use a box including Barn owl, Little owl, Tawny owl and Kestrel. All of these will readily use a nest box especially as nest sites are becoming harder to find and so competition between other species is fierce, make sure you get a nest box to suit by checking out our nest box page.

If you don’t have space for a nest box don’t worry you can take part in some citizen science and monitor your local birds of prey. You can sign up to the British Trust for Ornithology’s Bird Track and document when and where you see local birds of prey on your patch. Like I said earlier not only will you be helping the BTO monitor wild bird populations you’ll be outside enjoying yourself. There are also several specific regional bird of prey groups and schemes which would love to know about your sightings including your county bird recorder.

birdtrack_avatar

There are a few things you can do that is always worth mentioning and one of those is rodenticides which are now readily available off the shelf. With more humans comes more rubbish and only the other day on the local news there was a piece on how a street is over run with rats with rubbish littering the streets. rat baitWell I’m sorry but if your going to throw left over food out in bin liners what do people think is going to happen? The answer is we need to be tidier the answer is not throwing poison wherever you find a hole. The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme looks at the effects of rodenticides on dead wild birds of prey and the results are a bit scary you can see more here.

 

 

Have you ever seen a Chinese lantern, you may have even let one go before at an event but what happens to them once they have drifted off into the nights sky? Well sadly its not all good a lot of these lanterns might be advertised as biodegradable but usually the wire frame is anything but. These Lanterns can litter the countryside and have been known to start barn fires, the metal framing ingested by cattle and sadly also killing wildlife like Barn owls. You can be fined for throwing litter on the streets so how is this any different?barn owl lantern

Finally you might not think there is much you can do globally but there is a few things, you can shop sustainably especially for things that have to travel from abroad. Here at Raptor Aid we now no longer make our nest boxes from foreign ply wood, despite it stating it is from sustainable forest’s we our now cutting our carbon footprint and supporting British industry. Deforestation is having a huge impact on the environment and we need to be more responsible with natural resources. If you go on holiday abroad try and avoid ANY attraction that involves the use of animals as the ethics behind such things can often be dubious. These can also include markets selling animals and parts of animals including birds of prey as souvenirs or pets. You can read a bit more on worldwide conservation here.

Yours in birds,

Jimmi