The Loss of ‘Mick’ & ‘Carroll’

Our friend and colleague Mick Carroll was a passionate and dedicated member of the Northern England Raptor Forum with a lifelong devotion to monitoring Hen Harriers in the region.

Mick sadly died in 2015 but as a fitting tribute to his work we were delighted when two precious young Hen Harriers, fledged from only three nests in the whole of England in 2016, were named in his honour – “Mick” and “Carroll”.  The birds were fitted with satellite tracking tags by Natural England and the RPSB respectively and their movements since fledging were closely monitored.

In his lifetime Mick Carroll would certainly have hoped to see these birds mature and play their part in the much needed recovery of the English upland breeding population. Sadly in close succession in early 2017 news has come of the death of ‘Carroll’ in Northumberland and the probable death of ‘Mick’.    Carroll’s body was found to be carrying two shotgun pellets from an earlier shooting incident and she had finally succumbed to disease.  The satellite signal from ‘Mick’ suddenly ceased transmitting for unknown reasons with a last record in upper Swaledale.    The exact fate of ‘Mick’ may never be known.

Regrettably these losses are typical of the fate of the majority of tracked young Hen Harriers – a situation which remains of huge concern to NERF.  The body of evidence from following the outcomes of all of the birds that have been tracked over many years points to illegal persecution as being the major cause of their deaths.

We would urge anyone with any information on these birds to contact the police.


10 Feb 17