The hen harrier, an iconic bird of prey, is heading towards the brink of extinction in England, new figures suggest. There are just four breeding pairs left in England and numbers are declining elsewhere in the UK. Scotland is the traditional stronghold of these raptors, but numbers have fallen 9% since 2010.
Numbers of hen harrier pairs in Wales fell by more than a third over the same period. The birds of prey live primarily on heather moorland. The males are easily identified by their black wing tips. The females look completely different, with puffy brown plumage that helps camouflage them and their nests.
But this iconic species is under severe threat, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
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