Posts Tagged ‘peregrine


Shot peregrine in Gloucestershire – an update

In mid-August we blogged about a shot peregrine that had been found critically injured in Gloucestershire and was later euthanised due to the extent of its injuries (see here).

[The shot peregrine, photo from Vale Wildlife Hospital]

There was very little information available about this crime at the time but now Gloucestershire Police are appealing for witnesses.

The shot peregrine was found near Northleach in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Anyone with information is urged to contact PC Ashley Weller on 101, quoting incident # 349/16/08.


Shot peregrine euthanised in Gloucestershire

A critically-injured peregrine has been euthanised after an x-ray revealed a shotgun pellet lodged in its wing, causing a catastrophic break.

[All photographs from Vale Wildlife Hospital]

The wounded bird was taken to Vale Wildlife Hospital near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire today. There are no further details yet about where this illegally-shot peregrine was picked up.

Anyone with information please contact the Police on Tel: 101, or the RSPB Raptor Crime Hotline on Tel: 0300 999 0101 or anonymously Crimestoppers on Tel: 0800 555 111.



West Yorkshire Police appeal for information after peregrine shot in Bingley

West Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after a peregrine was found shot in Bingley yesterday (11th August 2020) according to an article in the Telegraph & Argus.

The injured bird was found by members of the public at Bingley Three Rise locks yesterday afternoon. It didn’t survive its injuries, which a vet has described as being caused by a pellet gun.

[The shot peregrine. Photos by Brian Goddard]

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said:

Police were called during the afternoon of Tuesday August 11 by a vets surgery which made a third party report of a  Peregrine Falcon dying after being shot with a pellet gun.

Officers have recorded a crime for the killing of a protected schedule one bird and initial enquiries are underway.”

Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact the Bingley NPT on 101, referencing crime number 132004033337

To read the full article please click here



£10,500 reward for info on four poisoned peregrines

Last week we blogged about the 4th peregrine confirmed to have been illegally poisoned with banned toxins in the Channel Islands (see here).

[Two of the four poisoned peregrines, along with the pigeon that had been laced with poisons and used as bait. Photo via Alderney Bird Observatory]

It was reported that a 5th (unidentified) raptor had been submitted for toxicology analysis and that a reward of £5,000 was on offer for information leading to a conviction.

That fifth raptor has now been reported to be a kestrel – toxicology results are pending.

[The dead kestrel. Photo via Guernsey Animal Aid]

In early August the reward for information had increased from £5,000 to £7,500 but according to Alderney Bird Observatory the reward now stands at £10,500.

If you have any information that could help this investigation please contact Sue Vidamour at Guernsey Animal Aid: 07781 150388.


4th peregrine confirmed poisoned on Guernsey & another raptor submitted for toxicology analysis

A couple of weeks ago Police on the island of Guernsey appealed for information (see here) after at least three peregrines had been found poisoned with ‘an unusual cocktail of banned pesticides’ in the previous 14 months and a fourth peregrine, found dead in June 2020, had been submitted for toxicology analysis which was delayed by Covid19.

Those toxicology results have now confirmed that the fourth peregrine was also poisoned by what have been described as ‘professional-use pesticides’ (see here). Another dead bird of prey (not identified in the local press), has been submitted for toxicology analysis after being found dead in July ‘under unusual circumstances’.

The names of the banned pesticides have not been revealed.

An anonymous donor has contacted Guernsey Animal Aid to put up a £5,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to a conviction (see here).

Sue Vidamour from the charity said:

It’s a disgusting thing to do, to kill a beautiful animal like that for your own gain or for whatever reason is just outrageous. 

Maybe somebody out there knows who it is but is reluctant to say but humans being humans it may just tip the balance and they’ll give a name.” 

UPDATE 9th August 2020: £10,500 reward for info on four poisoned peregrines (here)


More birds of prey illegally killed in & around Peak District National Park

As conservationists continue to express concern for the safety of the visiting Bearded Vulture in the Peak District National Park (e.g. see here), the RSPB has published a blog detailing more cases of confirmed and suspected illegal raptor persecution that have been recorded in the area since the beginning of lockdown.

[This shot buzzard had to be euthanized due to the extent of its injuries. Photo by Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group]

The RSPB’s updated list includes the following, some of which have already featured on this blog and some which haven’t previously been publicised:

NEW: In the north of the National Park, the remains of a short-eared owl, an amber-listed species, were found on a grouse moor near Glossop on 7 May. A post-mortem recently concluded that shooting had been the cause of death. No leads were forthcoming from police enquiries.

NEW: Near Agden Reservoir, an area dominated by driven grouse moors, four raven chicks were found dead in a nest also on 11 May. The parent birds had been seen bringing food to the young, then vanished without explanation. The chicks were almost at the point of fledging, and the RSPB say the adults were exceptionally unlikely abandon the nest at that stage. The incident is being investigated by South Yorkshire Police.

NEW: Test results are awaited in connection with an adult peregrine found dead in the Upper Derwent Valley.

NEW: In the south, just outside the National Park an eyewitness reported seeing two buzzards being shot near Ashbourne on 1 April 2020. A member of the public was watching the two birds circling a wood, on land managed for pheasant shooting, when he heard a shot and saw the birds fall. There’s no comment about a police investigation.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: On 11 May, a buzzard was found mortally wounded on land managed for gamebird shooting near Diggle. It was found alive but with terrible injuries and sadly had to be euthanized. An x-ray revealed six pieces of shot lodged in the bird’s body. [This crime has previously been blogged about here]

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: In the south of the Park, a buzzard and two peregrines are being tested for poison after being found dead in Staffordshire. [These incidents have previously been blogged about here]

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: In mid-June, Derbyshire Police issued an appeal for information after three peregrine nests were robbed of their eggs, all within the National Park. The RSPB alerted the police about one of the incidents. [These incidents have previously been blogged about here]

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED: A dead kestrel and a buzzard have also gone for poison testing: they were found near Glapwell, where several buzzards were found poisoned in 2016. [These incidents have previously been blogged about here] – see UPDATE at foot of blog.

To read the RSPB blog in full please click here

The RSPB’s Head of Investigations, Mark Thomas, was also on BBC Radio Derby a few days ago talking about the ongoing killing of birds of prey in the Peak District National Park. Available here (starts 3hrs 16) for 24 days.

UPDATE 3rd August 2020: Buzzard and kestrel confirmed illegally poisoned in Derbyshire (here)


Peregrines illegally poisoned on Guernsey

Police on the island of Guernsey are appealing for information after at least three peregrines have been found poisoned with ‘an unusual cocktail of banned pesticides’ in the last 14 months. A fourth peregrine was found in June and toxicology results are pending.

This story featured on the BBC Channel Islands News last night and is available to watch on iPlayer until 18.55hrs today. Click here to watch (it’s the first item).

The short film includes interviews with Mark Thomas (RSPB Investigations) and David Chamberlain, Guernsey State Vet, who said he believed the pesticides had been imported from the UK rather than ‘hanging around for a long time on the island’ as a similar deadly cocktail had been used elsewhere in the UK for the same purpose of killing raptors.

The names of the pesticides were not revealed.

UPDATE 1st August 2020: 4th peregrine confirmed poisoned on Guernsey & another raptor submitted for toxicology analysis (here)


Peregrine eggs taken from three nest sites in Peak District

From the BBC News website (16 June 2020)

Peregrine falcon eggs taken from three sites in Peak District

Eggs from peregrine falcon nests at three different sites in the Peak District were taken in early spring, Derbyshire Police has revealed.

The force said there could be a number of individuals or groups responsible as part of a “black market trade”.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said the eggs may have been removed while volunteers – who patrol the White Peak area – were forced into lockdown in late March.

[Photo by Barb Baldinger]

Rural crime officer PC Karl Webster said the eggs would be worth a lot.

“We believe they’re taking them to hatch,” he said.

“There’s a lucrative Middle Eastern falconry market allied to this country, an investigation two to three years ago confirmed that.”

The birds of prey, which were heavily persecuted in the 1960s and suffered from the impact of pesticides, have recovered in numbers in recent years.

However, they are still illegally killed and targeted for their eggs and chicks, according to the RSPB.

David Savage, from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said the taking of eggs was “sickening”.

“We began the season with great hopes and tried to keep an eye on them as much as we could, but unfortunately when we couldn’t watch them 24 hours a day, they were taken,” he said.

“It has been difficult to monitor the site in lockdown – the end of March and early April was when our volunteers were indoors.”

In May, the RSPB said it had been “overrun” by reports of birds of prey being illegally killed since the lockdown across the UK.


Original article on BBC website here


Peregrine found shot dead in Brighouse, West Yorkshire

A peregrine has been found shot dead in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. It’s leg ring has identified it as a male that hatched in 2018 at the University of Leeds, according to @UoLPeregrine.

The dead bird was found yesterday (23 May 2020) and police wildlife crime officer PC CJ Newsome has tweeted that an x-ray has confirmed he’d been shot, although there is no further detail on whether this was a shotgun or an air rifle.

If anyone has any information about this crime please contact the Police on 101 and quote ref # 13200257548


Police ask public to be vigilant after buzzard & two peregrines found dead in Staffordshire Moorlands

Press release from Staffordshire Police (20 May 2020)

Three birds of prey found dead in Staffordshire Moorlands

Police have raised concerns after three birds of prey were found dead in the Staffordshire Moorlands [inside the Peak District National Park].

On Saturday (16 May) a buzzard and peregrine falcon were sadly discovered dead in a wooded area of Longnor, and yesterday (Tuesday 19 May) a second peregrine falcon was found dead near Wetton.

As there were no visible signs of injury, the birds will now be forensically examined to establish the cause of death. At this time officers cannot rule out the possibility that the birds were poisoned.

A police investigation is on-going as under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take wild birds.

[Photo by Staffordshire Police]

Officers are asking local residents and visitors to these areas to report of any suspicious behaviour and be vigilant for the signs of criminal activity, including dead or injured birds, poisoned bait and traps.

Reports are handled in the strictest of confidence – so anyone with any information is asked to get in touch by calling 101, or completing an online form at; quoting incident number 284 of 19 May.

Staffordshire Police continues to support Operation Owl – a national initiative to raise awareness and prevent the persecution of birds of prey in our countryside.

Chief Inspector Mark Thorley, commander of the Staffordshire Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team and rural crime lead, said:

If the birds have been specifically targeted, this is a dreadful crime and those responsible must be brought to justice.

If you come across a dead bird or suspicious object, this could be a wildlife crime scene. Please do not touch or move anything. Every piece of information may be crucial in prosecuting an offender so please take photographs if you can and make a note of your surroundings and landmarks to help officers to locate it.

Any information, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, could help with our on-going investigation so please get in touch with us directly or any of our partners listed below.”

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme hotline 0800 321 600.
RSPB’s confidential Raptor Crime hotline 0300 999 0101.


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