Posts Tagged ‘barn owl


Barn owl with horrific injuries found in North Yorkshire

A barn owl with horrific injuries has been found near Marishes in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire.

According to expert raptor rehabilitator Jean Thorpe, the barn owl was found close to death. It had suffered two broken legs and its injuries were consistent with having been caught in a spring trap. Jean believes the owl had been released from the trap and then left to die a lingering death, unable to hunt with badly infected wounds.

The owl was taken to Jean’s wildlife centre but died shortly after arrival.

This area is a notorious raptor persecution blackspot. Spring traps are only legal if they are set within either a natural or artifical tunnel to prevent non-target species getting caught in the trap’s jaws.

Anybody with any information about this horrific case please contact Wildlife Police Officer Jez Walmsley at Malton Police Station (Tel: 101).

Photos by Jean Thorpe. Map by RPUK.


Barn owl shot dead

shot barn owl leicester paul riddleA barn owl has been shot dead in Leicester over the Xmas period.

It was found in an out building with bloodied chest feathers. A veterinary x-ray revealed three shot gun pellets embedded in its torso.

Full details on Paul Riddle’s blog here.

Thanks to @emilyjoachim for the info.


Barn owl shot, red kite poisoned

Cheshire Consabulary logoCheshire Constabulary are appealing for information after a series of wildlife crimes, including the shooting of a barn owl, swan and heron, and the suspected poisoning of a red kite.

The crimes took place at Risley Moss Nature Reserve in Warrington, Cheshire, “in recent weeks”.

No further details available.

Article in the Warrington Guardian here.


North Yorks still worst place for raptor persecution in 2012

Bowland Betty2The RSPB has published its 2012 Birdcrime report documenting bird persecution throughout the UK.

North Yorkshire has once again come top of the league for the number of reported crimes against birds of prey (34), with Aberdeenshire a close second with 31 reported incidents. Both counties, of course, include large areas of land used for driven grouse shooting.

The 2012 report includes statistics that are all too familiar: confirmed shootings of short-eared owls, sparrowhawks, buzzards, barn owls, tawny owls, hen harriers, golden eagles, marsh harriers, and peregrines; confirmed nest destruction of peregrines, goshawks and barn owls; confirmed illegal spring-trapping of buzzards, golden eagle and peregrine; other types of illegal trapping (including crow cage traps) of sparrowhawks, tawny owls, buzzards and goshawks; and the confirmed illegal poisoning of ravens, red kites, buzzards, golden eagles, marsh harriers, peregrines, cats and dogs.

Remember, these are just the confirmed incidents. Plenty more ‘probable’ and ‘unconfirmed’ cases, and of course there are all the incidents that went undiscovered/unreported.

Does that sound to you like the game-shooting industry is cleaning up its act?

Well done to the RSPB for their meticulous work and especially for their willingness to share these data with the general public.

RSPB press release here

Download the RSPB’s 2012 Birdcrime report here

The photograph shows the shot hen harrier Bowland Betty, found on a North Yorkshire grouse moor in 2012. Nobody has been brought to justice for her death.


Persecution case dropped as alleged raptor killer dies

Barn Owl Miles HerbertLast month we blogged about Robert Simpson, a 66-year-old from Cleghorn in South Lanarkshire who was facing three charges of alleged wildlife crime, including the illegal trapping and killing of a barn owl. His case was continued without plea for four weeks as he was considered too unwell to attend court (see here).

His case was due to re-start at Lanark Sheriff Court yesterday (31st Oct). However, a local reporter has informed us the Fiscal did not call the case yesterday as Mr Simpson has died.

Barn owl photo by Miles Herbert.


Alleged raptor killer too ill for court

Thanks to the reader who sent us a copy of this article from the Lanark Gazette.

Barn Owl press cutting


Peregrine shot, barn owl chick stolen, hen harriers remembered

It’s been quite a day. The so-called ‘Glorious 12th’ has been taken back by the conservationists and re-named Hen Harrier Day, in an inspired move by Alan Tilmouth (read his blog entry here).

Although he only came up with the idea yesterday, Twitter has been alive today with hundreds of people using the #henharrier tag to celebrate these spectacular birds and to express their anger at the virtual extermination of the species on grouse moors across England. Unsurprisingly, the game-shooting organisations were conspicuously absent.

Mark Avery also came up with a plan to help hen harriers. He’s called it BanGS – see here.

Meanwhile, news came through that police in Bolton are appealing for information after an injured and distressed peregrine was found by the side of a road. It had been shot. Full details here.

Elsewhere, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust is appealing for information after a barn owl chick was stolen from the Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve last night. Information here.

In other news, we’ve been having a look at some VERY interesting literature – a copy of the Leadhills Estate gamebook (don’t ask how we got hold of it!!) – which very helpfully documents annual counts of killed ‘vermin’ over a considerable number of decades. ‘Vermin’ in Leadhills-speak includes hawks, badgers, otters, cats and ravens amongst others. It’s fascinating. We’ll be writing more on this in due course…

Leadhills game book vermin lists

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Stats

  • 4,209,975 hits


Our recent blog visitors