Podcast: Nature's a Hoot

You’ve probably noticed that we’re passionate about birds of prey. If you’ve visited and seen any of our displays or talked to anyone on our team you’d probably agree that if there’s one thing we love to do it’s talk about them until the cows (or Bald Eagles) come home. That’s why we’ve sharing this with you in our wildlife podcast, ‘Nature’s A Hoot’. New episode are released on the first of each month, packed with loads of interesting information and discussions about birds of prey and the wild world around them.

Tom Morath, a member of our Bird Team, is one of the show’s creators and presenters. He wanted to develop the podcast to offer as many people as possible the chance to connect with the vital work we do and said “I know how passionate we all are at the Trust about the birds we work with. Talking about them and encouraging others to be just as inspired becomes second nature. The idea of ‘Nature’s a Hoot’ is to scratch the surface and go beyond what we’d normally talk about in our flying displays to give a fuller picture of the environments they live in and the challenges they face to simply survive. The podcast will be a new way to connect with us. You can have us on in the car on the way to work, in your headphones whilst you exercise or when settling down with a nice cup of tea.”

Conservation is at the heart of all that we do and we know that the best way to achieve our mission is to reach as many people as we can with our message. With this in mind, Tom’s teamed up with Hannah Shaw, our Conservation and Research Liaison to produce the podcast.

“We’ve been working to develop some really interesting episodes which I’m really excited for everyone to hear. Hannah’s passion for and knowledge of current projects conserving raptors, both directly and indirectly, really comes through in each episode and hopefully the podcast will offer something for everyone with an interest in the natural world.”

Tom Morath

Fundraising Events Manager and Bird Team

Tom’s interest in birds of prey is inspired by his grandparents love of the great outdoors, and many family days outside together. However, it was a bird of prey experience at the age of 12 that really started the ball rolling for Tom. He has worked with birds of prey at a number of different centres, before coming to the Trust in early 2019.

Outside work, Tom can usually be found exploring the countryside with his chocolate Labrador, Delilah.

Hannah Shaw

Conservation and Research Liaison

Hannah made more life changes than most when she took up her position. She moved back from Tanzania, where she had been working with rural village communities to help them deal with the human-elephant conflict whilst also trying to improve attitudes towards elephants. This background gave Hannah a particular interest in our poison response work with vultures in southern Africa, and how this is linked with elephant poaching.

Hannah is a keen environmentalist, and in her spare time can usually be found walking her dog, Jack, in the Hampshire countryside.

Listen and Subscribe

Released on the first of each month, be sure to listen out for our regular feature on the show where we’ll offer some helpful tips on how we can all do our bit to help wildlife in our own outdoor spaces. Subscribe to our podcast via all major podcast platforms including Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts and RadioPublic.

If you don’t listen to podcasts via an app and would prefer to listen online, you can do so at Anchor FM.

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Episode Insights

In each episode we share news, research and top tips that we’ve learnt. You can find out more and read the original articles, research and documents in the pages we’ve shared below.

Raptor Senses with Dr Simon Potier

How does a bird of prey see, hear, smell and taste the world? Is being told you have ‘eyes like a hawk’ a compliment? How do we measure all these factors? Find out in this month’s episode as Hannah and Tom discover the mysteries of raptor senses, with special guest scientist, falconer and raptor enthusiast Dr Simon Potier.

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Writing for Nature with Megan McCubbin

Catch up with Hannah and Tom as they delve into more wildlife topics and chat to Megan McCubbin about what it was like to write a book alongside Chris Packham and then publish it during a global pandemic. The Matter of Fact Challenge returns for another month – this time Hannah and Tom pick the Most Impressive Plant.

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Life of a Springwatch Presenter

Hannah and Tom are joined by naturalist, wildlife author and Springwatch presenter, Megan McCubbin, as she discusses her work with wildlife and what it’s like to talk about our wonderful natural world live on the BBC – even when it doesn’t show up on time. Listen out for this month’s Top Tip and our regular feature – the Matter of Fact Challenge. This month it’s Most Beautiful Insect!

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British Falcons

On this month’s Nature’s a Hoot Tom and Hannah delve into the world of British Falcons, from Peregrine Falcons to Hobbies, we explore these epic predators, the many threats they face, and how wonderfully adaptable and diverse they are. We have a brilliant chat with our Marion Paviour award winner from 2020, Conservation Ecologist Dr Georgia Jones about her fascinating research into Kestrel diets, and of course, we present our entries for Bravest Animal in the Matter of Fact Challenge, who will be your winner?

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Weird, Sexy, Hilarious Nature

We’re joined by zoologist and science communicator, Sophie Pavelle, for a chat about, long walks, beavers, water boatmen and how laughter can help to inspire us into loving the natural world. Our new feature, the Matter of Fact Challenge, returns as Hannah and Tom go head-to-head to decide on the animal kingdom’s best parent.

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Getting Nerdy about Nature

This month we welcome our special guest chat, Lucy Lapwing, an inspiring science communicator and self-confessed ‘nature nerd’! Tom and Hannah also share their recent wildlife sights, and revel in the onset of spring. We also reminisce about Nature’s a Hoot Live – Kestrel Special, our first live event, and we introduce our new feature the Matter of Fact Challenge!

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Conservation and Communities

Hannah and Tom chat about why involving the local community is important in conservation, both in developing and developed countries. Hannah catches up with friend and fellow conservationist, Kevin Cumming, who was the Project Leader at the Langholm Initiative, about the Langholm Moor Community Buyout, the many wonderful species and habitats it supports, and what it means for the people living there.

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Join Hannah and Tom as they discuss the research and dedication that goes into rewilding projects and the benefits they can have on habitats and the ecosystems that rely on them. Tom heads to the Cotswolds to meet Tabitha Rose – a landowner who has decided to turn her 70 acres of farmland and woodland into a haven for wildlife.

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Wildlife and Well-being

It’s easy to feel a bit down in winter as the nights draw in, with shorter days and less time to get outdoors. We discuss the importance of spending time in nature, even in the winter! Hannah also chats to our guest, Dr Kayleigh Wyles, an environmental psychologist from Surrey University, about her work with citizen science and nature connection, and an exciting study we’ve been working on together at the Trust exploring the impact wildlife can have on our well-being.

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The Future of Nature

We give our reaction to the recently televised Extinction: The Facts programme, pondering the state of our natural world, and talk to up-and-coming conservationist and broadcaster, Indy Greene about his experiences as a young wildlife enthusiast.

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British Owls

Read more about Nature’s a Hoot, and access resources, photos and insights from our second episode, ‘British Owls’. This episode delves into the magical world of owls; Tom and Hannah reminisce about the owls they have seen in the wild and share their tips on spotting owls where you live.

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Inspired by the Wild

Read more about Nature’s a Hoot, and access resources, photos and insights from our first episode, ‘Inspired by the Wild’. In this first episode we feature what inspires us about nature, how COVID-19 might have impacted wildlife across the world and our first top tip for helping nature to thrive where you live.

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Did you know?
The acid in a vulture’s stomach is more acidic than acid rain. This allows vultures to ingest bacteria and even some diseases. Their ability to eat rotting carcasses makes vultures ecologically vital.
©2021 Hawk Conservancy Trust