Red kite shot & killed on nest in West Yorkshire

Red kite shot Eccup April 2016 Doug SimpsonOn 21st April 2016, a new red kite nest was discovered in woodland near Alwoodley Lane in the Eccup area of Leeds, West Yorkshire. Hanging in a tree next to the nest was the corpse of a dead kite.

A veterinary examination revealed the bird had suffered shot gun injuries and was most likely killed while on the nest, incubating eggs.

Short article in Yorkshire Evening Post here.

This is the latest in a number of illegally killed or illegally injured red kites reported in recent weeks. Others include this one in North Yorkshire, this one in North-east England, these two in Oxfordshire and another one in North Yorkshire.

Photo of the latest shot red kite in Leeds by Doug Simpson.


19 Responses to “Red kite shot & killed on nest in West Yorkshire”

  1. 1 AnMac
    May 5, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    So sad, another breeding bird killed illegally. The doctors and nurses in Yorkshire have certainly been busy recently tending to the sick and injured avi-fauna.

    Thanks again for changing the name of your RPS site as it highlights ‘all’ that is happening within the UK.

  2. 2 steve macsweeney
    May 5, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Just underlines the need for meaningful custodian sentences for raptor killers.Fines are clearly no deterrent.

  3. 3 james Albaya
    May 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    how are these people getting the firearms ? Its one of two things either landowners are going round popping art raptors or every thug now has access to a shotgun -which ever way WHERE are the POLICE and why havent they confsicated the weapons and jailed the culprits -. its not like poisoning guns make a lot f noise!

  4. May 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    The Countryside Alliance and Moorland Association have just issued a joint statement on this incident deploring the sharp rise in suicides by Red Kites, self-poisoning and shotguns being the preferred modus operandi. This, they continue, is clearly caused by stress originating from far too many RSPB members and other birdwatchers disturbing them.

  5. 8 Simon Tucker
    May 5, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Time to ban the “casual” ownership of shotguns and to make ammunition registered and identifiable

  6. 9 Marian
    May 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    is this down to ‘casual ownership’ though, Simon?

    All farmers have shotguns, for what they consider to be reasonable purposes.

    I lived many years in the countryside and the only people I came upon killing animals of various species were farmers, not thugs out to cause mischief.

    • 10 crypticmirror
      May 5, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      What exactly are the reasons farmers have shotguns anyway? We have no large predators, sadly, that they need to protect their animals from. All herbivores can be scared off by either firework devices or by live trapping (either release or despatch humanely by hand) and it is illegal to use them to threaten folks to “gerrorf moi larnd!!”. Farmers do not actually need a shotgun at all, maybe it is time to rescind those shotgun licenses to farmers en masse.

      • 11 against feudalism
        May 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm

        I spotted this article, in the well known lefty newspaper, the Scotsman ( irony )


        It seems that farmers are under attack by pretty much all wildlife ?

        • 12 crypticmirror
          May 5, 2016 at 10:30 pm

          I love how the guy in the article starts out by saying it is about ravens (and worth saying, that ravens can be dispersed by lots of other methods including just bringing the sheep down or the farmer going up and spending a few days with them like they did ye olde dayes they always seem to be pining over until it involves the farmer doing work) but then immediately slides over to talking about how he needs to control eagles. Almost like the ravens are not a problem at all and they just want to be allowed to blow eagles away without even the token restraint of current laws. And of course also mentioned is that well known savager of sheep, the badger.

  7. 13 keen birder
    May 5, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Its possible the Kite was shot off its nest in mistake for a carrion crow, but whoever did it then seems to have left the body. I know a lot of farmers and I think a lot of them dont have a gun, not many are in Game shoots, most are far too busy just working, and a lot of them wouldnt want to pay to shoot. There is a certain need for some to have a gun, reasons : shooting rabbits, its illegal to live trap and then release them elsewhere, not an easy task anyway, shooting the odd sheep or lamb that has become ill, often with liver fluke, shooting carrion crows ,which can sometimes be a pest ,shooting pigeons, again they can be a pest, also can be alright to eat, rats, are often shot in live cage traps, also foxes, then theres a few that do a bit of game shooting.

    As far as making ammunition identifiable, well this wont happen, its probably impossible.
    Also has crypticmirror ever tried to dispatch by hand a live trapped, er rat, fox, mink, feral cat, not easy, not worth the risk, and not at all humane. Thanks keep up the good work of reporting.

  8. 14 Andrew
    May 6, 2016 at 12:26 am

    “shot off its nest in mistake for a carrion crow” Well that sort of thing was not an excuse for Oscar Pistorius and nor should it be an excuse in this case.

    Secondly anyone authorised to shoot in an area should know what is around and a nesting red kite is should not go unnoticed. So intentional or idiot with a gun? It’s difficult to say which is the greater crime.

  9. 15 Andrew
    May 6, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Anyone out there with a shotgun needs further help differentiating . . .

    Carrion crows normally build their nests high up in the smaller branches of tall trees.

    Red kites build their nest on a main fork or a limb high in a tree, 12-20m above the ground and a kite’s nest is generally visibly larger.

  10. May 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Another sad loss to the countryside. It certainly doesn’t look as if these game shoots are being rigorously monitored by the wildlife police.
    I’m wondering if the eggs were retrieved. Is there any information about this?

    • 17 Dylanben
      May 7, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      For the record, this bird was shot by someone trespassing on Yorkshire Water authority land. The sporting rights are held by an estate elsewhere, which does not exercise them. The person responsible had no authority to be there, let alone with a gun. The carcass was left behind because it was stuck 30′ up an adjacent tree, into which it had presumably ‘exploded’ on being shot. Plans were in hand to retrieve it, but it fell down before this could happen. The nest was not visited, but the examination of the bird showed an egg which was a few hours from being laid. Hope this clears up a few points.

  11. 18 Pearl Neidlinger
    May 12, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I hope and I’m going to pray that the person that shot this wonderful bird is found and prosecuted. I will also pray that whoever knows about this bird being shot will tell someone. If you know who did this please come forward anonymously this is a crime against mother nature. Why?

  12. 19 Gary Hesp
    May 13, 2016 at 8:45 am

    As a person who does shoot i must say that the person responsible for this criminal act wants prosecuting with the full weight of the law. Not only is this person complete moron but has no idea or understanding of the bird he has just killed. Yes Kites do take the odd gamebird etc but the majority of its food is carrion. This complete div gives all legitimate shooters a bad name.

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