Birds of prey are top-predators, feeding on a range of different species. The presence of raptors is therefore usually an indicator of a healthy, functioning ecosystem. Raptors are also important motivation for tourism, and they are important contributors to the British economy. However, birds are sometimes involved in wildlife-conflicts with land managers, which can sometimes lead to persecution, illegal poisoning and shootings. On top of this, intensification of agricultural practices along with changes in land use have also contributed to a substantial decline of many birds of prey. We have chosen to focus on three raptors for this survey: Buzzard, Red Kite and Kestrel. Buzzards have undergone recent population recoveries, and are now regularly seen in the Lothian and Borders regions. Kestrel numbers in contrast have recently been declining, but it is not known what is causing this decline.
How to get involved
Have you seen a Red Kite, a Kestrel or a Buzzard in the Lothian and Scottish Borders? If so, please let us know! Submit your sightings online. You can also download our ‘Record a Raptor’ record card or e-mail us your sightings.