Conservation charity gives Cumbrian school children a chance to name chicks of a rare bird

Credit: James Bray

Pupils at a Cumbrian primary school have been given the chance to name four rare hen harrier chicks.

Youngsters at Brampton Primary School near Carlisle were asked by the RSPB team to draw a picture of the birds and come up with names for each of the four fledglings.

Competition winner Emily, a Year 3 pupil at the school, has chosen to call the chicks Indiana, Twilight, Wilbur and Turbo. 

Competition winner Emily, Year 3 pupil at Brampton Primary School. Credit: RSPB

Richard Clark, Head Teacher at Brampton Primary School, said: “Being involved in the competition to name such great birds was a fantastic opportunity for our children. We live in an outstanding area of natural beauty full of amazing wildlife and anything that highlights that is a real positive.

"It was really difficult to choose a winner from the fantastic entries, with so many brilliant pictures and interesting names for the chicks. Hopefully, when tagged, we will get the opportunity to follow the chicks through their travels.”

The hen harrier chicks have now been ringed and satellite tagged, so conservationists and the school children can monitor their progress. Credit: PA Images

The four rare hen harrier chicks are the first to successfully fledge from a nest on the RSPB’s Geltsdale reserve since 2016.

Hen harriers were once found breeding across upland and lowland Britain, including Cumbria.

In the 1830’s, hen harriers were almost extinct in England due to raptor persecution, which was finally made illegal in 1954.