Ranging behaviour of Hen Harriers breeding in Special Protection Areas in Scotland

Beatriz Arroyo*, Fiona Leckie, Arjun Amar, Aly McCluskie, Steve Redpath, Stephen Redpath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Capsule Breeding female Hen Harriers hunted mostly within 1km from the nest and males mostly within 2 km.Aims To quantify temporal and spatial variation in home-range sizes and hunting distances of breeding male and female Hen Harriers.Methods We radio-tracked ten breeding harriers (five males and five females) in three Special Protection Areas in Scotland between 2002 and 2004.Results Male Hen Harriers travelled up to 9km from nests but had a home-range size that averaged only 8 km(2) (90% kernel); average home-range size for females was 4.5km(2). Hunting distances did not vary throughout the season. No significant differences were found among study areas, but there was large individual variability.Conclusion Our results provide information on foraging harriers to support management: actions within 1km of nesting sites will favour both sexes, and within 2km will mostly favour males. Our data also suggest overlap between foraging areas of neighbouring birds. Thus, there is the potential for good foraging areas to be utilized by multiple breeding pairs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalBird Study
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014


  • kestrel Falco-Naumanni
  • circus-cyaneus
  • red grouse
  • habitat use
  • home-range
  • land-use
  • British Uplands
  • meadow pipits
  • conservation
  • population


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