Birdlife on the moors

Short eared owl sat on grass mound

The moors of the Dark Peak provide a home to hundreds of birds. Nesting on the ground beneath the grasses and shrubs, they rely on the moorland pools, plants and wildlife for survival.

Birdlife on the moors

The golden plover nests on the upland moors, amongst the grasses and shrubs. The male's summer plumage of gold spots on black is particularly striking. Golden plovers are well camouflaged; you need patience to spot them but they are often found with lapwings, which are more easily idenitifable black and white birds with a clumsy tumbling flight. These and other upland ground-nesting birds are vulnerable. Please remember to keep dogs on leads in these moorland areas, to protect them.
 
Golden plovers nest on the moorland in summer
Golden plover sat in heather
 
Red grouse are a widespread sight on the moors and they feed on the heather that they live amongst. They are known to hide in the heather and are most often seen when they fly out of it, calling 'go-back go-back go-back'. Black grouse are an endangered species and disappeared from the Peak District National Park in 2000. We are hopeful that they will return as we continue our work as part of the High Peak Moors Vision and Plan.
 
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Red grouse feed on and live in the heather of the moors
Red grouse sat in heather
 
 
You may see short-eared owls on the moorlands as they hunt during the day. They are distinguished by their bright yellow eyes, surrounded by black rings. Stonechats are also frequent residents of the moors, and their name comes from the sound they make - of two stones being struck together.
Short eared owls are ground-nesting
Short eared owl sat on grass mound