Since launching the Burning Hawk wine initiative we’ve been blessed to meet many new friends and colleagues. And as each day passes, our team’s knowledge of birds, birding and the many threats to birds and their habitat deepens.
Recently we came across the million-member strong Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) out of the UK who is is working to stop the illegal killing of raptors by hunters. In the past week the Burning Hawk team has had numerous communications with Jeff Knott, the project’s lead who sums up the problem for us as follows:
- Birds of prey have been protected in the UK for many decades, yet they’re still deliberately killed by poisioning, shooting and trapping.
- The main problem area is on upland grouse moors and hunting estates where raptors such as hen harriers and golden eagles prey on grouse which compete with “the hunt”
- Some shooting and hunting traditionalists are unwilling to evolve their sport to allow for co-existence with birds of prey
- The issue is improving in the lowlands due to increased public awareness, government oversight and shooting estates learning how to live with and cherish raptors and birds of prey.
The RSPB is working very hard to mobilize concerned citizens and present a strong voice to governments and those responsible that this illegal killing of raptors in unacceptable and cannnot continue. They could use your help and support. So please take a moment to learn about the (RSPB) and this important project. No matter where you live in the world you can help. Here’s what you can do: 1) learn about this issue impacting raptors 2) sign their online petition and 3) share this information with your networks.
Also for a broader perspective on the state of birds of prey in the UK you can read “Birds of Prey in the UK: On a Wing and A Prayer” which the RSPB wrote in collaboration with a dozen or so organizations including Birdlife International, The Northern England Raptor Forum and others. Additionally take a moment to learn about the RSPB’s 100+ year history and initial founding to counter “the barbarous trade in plumes for women’s hats.” What an inspiration!
We extend our appreciation for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for their efforts. While the specific issues or threats facing birds may be different, and the solutions we choose to employ are varied, we share the same focused goals: foster appreciation of wild birds and bring people together to protect them when they are threatened.