Highland red kite shot in the head

According to a local journalist, a dead red kite was found on a railway line in Inverness-shire in early July.

It was collected and sent for a post-mortem, which revealed it had been shot in the head.

We don’t know whether the kite was shot at another location and then dumped on a railway line to disguise its cause of death as an accidental collision with a train, or whether it was actually shot on or close to the railway line. Either way, it was illegally killed.

Needless to say, more than three months later and it would appear that Police Scotland haven’t issued any press statement or appealed for information.

Why not?

Photo of a red kite by Javi Montes

RK by Javi Montes

19 thoughts on “Highland red kite shot in the head”

  1. because the police are “in ” with these murderers , gamekeepers , wealthy estate owners etc , i wouldn’t be surprised if they part of the shoots or are receiving backhanders,

    1. Well, there is some evidence that some serving police officers (and/or formerly-serving officers) are directly linked to the game-shooting industry, but we don’t have the data to assess just how many.

      In this case, as with so many others, it’s more likely to be linked to police incompetence rather than anything more sinister.

  2. I had the pleasure of actually seeing a Red Kite off the A9 not far from Moy estate a few months ago, and at the time thought that it was living dangerously flying so close to that notorious black spot, Wonder if this was it?

    1. Don’t be so rediculous there are days when scores of red kites can be seen in this area. To suggest the last one has been killed shows how little you know about the area and what your looking for. Only last week I personally counted 9 kites on a one way journey from Inverness to Dingwall. I think this clearly shows a healthy population!

      1. And the population would have been much healthier if it wasn’t for the uncontrolled killing sprees.

        But again, Grouseman, you appear to be deliberately deviating from Chris’s point. He did mention Moy Estate, which I believe is south of Inverness, yet you have chosen to highlight an area close to where Red Kites are fed, and in the complete opposite direction of the city. Stop being so deceitful.

        1. Yes yes of course because these birds don’t travel more than a couple of miles do they!! Before you question this you only need to look at the satellite tagged birds to see the distances they cover.

          1. Grouseman, do you deliberately go out of your way to appear stupid, or is it an entirely natural process?

            Chris’s comment was based on an observation south of Inverness, and you, in your typically deceitful way, have deviated from this to your observation many miles away to the north, and in close proximity to a feeding station, where there is a likelihood that higher number of birds will be present. Do you remember that large number of birds that were found dead in this area earlier this year?

            I am well aware that birds can travel great distances, however the fact remains that despite various Red Kite reintroduction projects throughout Scotland, the population is nowhere near what it should be. For example, Red Kites are frequently seen in a certain area of Dumfries and Galloway, yet they are scarce in other areas of this same region. Similarly, Red Kites are still rare or scarce in bordering biological recording areas such as Ayrshire, Clyde, the Lothians, and the Borders. It is a very similar story for the Black Isle population, as Chris has pointed out, and despite the other Scottish projects, the Red Kite is still a relatively scarce bird in the neighbouring counties of these reintroduction sites.

            So despite what you suggest, even though birds have wings and are able to fly great distances, this does not necessarily equate to healthy populations in all areas.

            The reason? The great barriers (and ecological disaster zones) of Scotland that are shooting estates!

      2. Healthy population? compared to the Chilterns it is dismal. The solitary Kite that I saw was south of Inverness, it was only the 2nd one I have aver seen between Aviemore and the city, a journey I regularly make. If they weren’t being decimated by the estates, they should be a common sighting by now on that route.

        1. So you deem the density and health of a population on what you can see sitting on fence posts on the road side well that’s thorough!

          1. Erm, didn’t you do the exact same thing in your previous post? I will have to alert you to your own statement;

            “Only last week I personally counted 9 kites on a one way journey from Inverness to Dingwall. I think this clearly shows a healthy population!”

            Your despicable attempt at one-upmanship has failed!

          2. Maybe through ignorance you don’t know about the same amount of kites, that were re-introduced to both the Chilterns and the Black Isle in the early 80’s. Today the Chiltern population is ten fold what it was, in the Black Isle it is stagnant. Apart from being 500 miles further north the only difference are the grouse moors and their gamekeepers, obviously the latter are killing them – no other explanation.

            Driving through the Chilterns I have seen literally dozens flying at once in the sky, driving through the Black Isle, if I’m lucky, I may see two or three. As you say the birds travel, unfortunately not down to Aviemore as they are killed en route.

  3. “Needless to say, more than three months later and it would appear that Police Scotland haven’t issued any press statement or appealed for information. Why not?”

    Because they thought it was a chicken?

  4. It probably committed suicide because it was so upset at what is going on! Just thought I’d give the Mafia a new line in explanations – I’m sick and tired of the usual ones!

    1. I can do better. “It was shot in the head, so clearly it was a gangland execution by a Sea Eagle immigrant gang in a vicious raptor turf war over where to steal the best lambs! The police were silenced by MI5 who have linked it to a Middle Eastern raptor terrorist group and by leaking this to the press we’ve put the UK at risk of ISIS-terrorist falcons”. How’s that? And also, Ebola, somehow.

  5. How sad……..i get feeling that police Scotland have all but given up.

    I realise that the shooting of wildlife is all bit impossible to prove but to fail to even appeal for a witness is a very poor show

    I would have thought that given recent events in that area and the level of public concern that more could have been done.

    Well done RPS for yet again publicising another wildlife crime that was heading for being swept under the carpet.

    Wonder if a search was conducted or any form of an investigation……..

    1. How can the police have all but given up, they gave up before they even started.

      The Raptor death toll for this area keeps on going up and up and still nothing is done to stop it, when are the police going to wake up to the fact that systematic crimes are being committed on a daily basis. It’s becoming more and more obvious that either the police don’t believe that wildlife crimes warrant any serious attention from them, or their strings are being yanked by persons in positions of power, it’s probably a good assumption that both are correct !!!

    1. In Malta it’s mainly the gun toting idiots the birds have to contend with, in Scotland it’s the gun, the trap, poison, nest trampling, egg stealing, nest site destruction, habitat destruction, windfarms and whatever else you can think of !!!

  6. shot with what? it could easily have been shot by some wee ned with an air rifle. “shot in the head” is to specific to have been shot with a shotgun.

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