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Why is the RSPB SO against eagle-owls? (1 Viewer)

King Edward

Well-known member
I’m not sure of the RSPB’s current stance on EOs. I haven’t done any workfor them for several years (part of which involved Hedgehog conservation btw!) - the last I heard I think the thinking was it was not regarded as native sp and due to the potential predatory impact on HH, should not be allowed to recolonise from the escaped population.
My understanding is that there are a very small number of records (maybe only 1?) from the early Holocene at a time when the climate was broadly similar to today, but that it's unclear when & why the species died out.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
My understanding is that there are a very small number of records (maybe only 1?) from the early Holocene at a time when the climate was broadly similar to today, but that it's unclear when & why the species died out.

That’s my understanding too but I don’t speak for the RSPB. (or for BOU!)
The provenance of the EOs in the UK (and whether to cull them)and the debate on whether it was ever a native breeder has been going on for the past 15 years in my memory and became extremely passionate on both sides when the Bowland owls were filmed attacking a nesting HH (2010?)

How many breeding pairs of EOs are we really talking about? 30-40 in the whole of the UK? And how many raptors have been killed by EO? - I’ve only seen 2 EOs in the wild in the UK (that’s not twitching or actively looking) so we’re not exactly over-run with them.

The only reason our population of Hen Harriers would be so vulnerable as a breeding sp is because they keep getting bl00dy shot or poisoned so are already on the brink. Dealing once and all with that should be the the very first order of business. How fortuitous for those responsible for Hen Harrier persecution that the spotlight turns to convenient scapegoat such as the EO. Given the amount that are supposedly escaping every year I can’t help wondering anyway if their productivity in the UK as a breeding species is suppressed for genetic or ecological reasons or a simply that a significant number of escaped pets do not adapt to being in the wild.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Don't think its's been explicitly mentioned on this thread (?) but a reasonable number of EOs about turn out to be or are suspected of being species/race other than Eurasian Eagle Owl. Which obviously muddies the waters/detracts.

Ta for the hedgehog replies earlier.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Don't think its's been explicitly mentioned on this thread (?) but a reasonable number of EOs about turn out to be or are suspected of being species/race other than Eurasian Eagle Owl. Which obviously muddies the waters/detracts.

Ta for the hedgehog replies earlier.

Was the recent Norfolk bird ever assigned to species? I remember discussing it then lost track.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Hen Harrier is one of the most beautiful birds to be seen on our shores, I can't take anyone that seriously who would be happy to see what remains of this beautiful raptor wiped out.

And I quite like Eagle Owls.
 
G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
I know hen harriers are beautiful, but that does not mean what eats them should be destroyed.
These species coexist in the mainland, in Scotland hen harriers live alongside golden eagles which are much more powerful birds, eagle owls are not going to track down specifically hen harriers on purpose. So one owl attacked a hen harrier. Big deal- this owl is never going to wipe out all hen harriers in the UK.
However, it is a native species, and its extinction date has been determined as 2,000 years ago. For comparison the lynx vanished 1,300 years ago and the stork 604 years ago. It is definitely a native species, and the problem I think people have with it is hen harriers, though that in no way should be a reason to even limit their spread. This is one example of if something rare and beautiful is being killed people get enraged at the perpetrator which is a simple and beautiful owl which is NATIVE and actually could help deal with the massive roe deer problem. Capercaillie is almost gone as well- should we get rid of golden eagles as well? Montagu's harrier is almost gone- should we get rid of what preys on them as well?
Nothing I have seen on this thread makes me seriously think their spread should be stopped. I love the RSPB- they preach about protecting birds yet want to wipe out a native species. All because of a flappy bird which is beautiful.
 
G

Gleb Berloff

Guest
That’s my understanding too but I don’t speak for the RSPB. (or for BOU!)
The provenance of the EOs in the UK (and whether to cull them)and the debate on whether it was ever a native breeder has been going on for the past 15 years in my memory and became extremely passionate on both sides when the Bowland owls were filmed attacking a nesting HH (2010?)

How many breeding pairs of EOs are we really talking about? 30-40 in the whole of the UK? And how many raptors have been killed by EO? - I’ve only seen 2 EOs in the wild in the UK (that’s not twitching or actively looking) so we’re not exactly over-run with them.

The only reason our population of Hen Harriers would be so vulnerable as a breeding sp is because they keep getting bl00dy shot or poisoned so are already on the brink. Dealing once and all with that should be the the very first order of business. How fortuitous for those responsible for Hen Harrier persecution that the spotlight turns to convenient scapegoat such as the EO. Given the amount that are supposedly escaping every year I can’t help wondering anyway if their productivity in the UK as a breeding species is suppressed for genetic or ecological reasons or a simply that a significant number of escaped pets do not adapt to being in the wild.

You know I can't believe people take their anger out on hen harriers. You know I would understand eagles- but not harriers.
And I can't believe the government is sitting around doing nothing. Catch someone- give them a 10,000 dollar fine, shut their business- that will deter a lot of people. Driven grouse moors seem to be a massive problem- walked up moors not so much.
And yes you are right, it seems the RSPB now has something to blame for the hen harrier problem. Whereas hen harriers can just as easily be destroyed by goshawks or eagles.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
These species coexist in the mainland
Where there's more space and often larger numbers of HH.


in Scotland hen harriers live alongside golden eagles which are much more powerful birds,
That's not an argument. Eagle Owls are strong enough. The question is which species is more likely to harm HH and other vulnerable native species.


So one owl attacked a hen harrier. Big deal- this owl is never going to wipe out all hen harriers in the UK.
They routinely prey on smaller raptors, moreover at night, when the other birds are much more vulnerable.

This is one example of if something rare and beautiful is being killed people get enraged at the perpetrator which is a simple and beautiful owl which is NATIVE and actually could help deal with the massive roe deer problem.
How are EO supposed to help with the Roedeer problem (assuming there is one)?
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
Apart from a third hand quote from grouse shooter and RSPB arch-enemy Ian Botham, what evidence have we been given that the RSPB are anti Eagle Owls let alone want a cull?
 
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