Deciding which species to monitor

We ask you to decide at the outset which of the Raptor Patch species you are going to focus on monitoring, whether you are going to focus on a single species or look to monitor two, three or even four species. To help you decide you might want to take a closer look at the available species-specific guidance so that you can appreciate what the field work will entail once the breeding season arrives.

Most raptor species follow a cycle of breeding activity, which typically follows the pattern: occupation of home range>territorial display>nest building>egg laying>incubation>hatching>young in nest>fledging> juvenile dispersal.

The timing of all of these different activities is different between different species so on any given visit the activities that you are likely to be looking out for are likely to vary between species. The table shows the breeding activities that you might be expecting for each of the species in a given month. You should be able to see that the Raven breeding season starts and finishes ahead of the breeding seasons for the three other species.

Breeding calendar of the Raptor Patch focal species – Buzzard (BZ), Kestrel (K.), Sparrowhawk (SH) and Raven (RN).