Buzzard & kestrel suspected poisoned in Derbyshire

Derbyshire Constabulary has published the following message on social media this evening:

Derbyshire Rural Crime Team is investigating after two birds of prey were found dead in the Ault Hucknall area of Chesterfield.

A Kestrel and a Buzzard were found on Monday 23 March. Initial investigations lead us to believe they have been poisoned rather than shot.

The birds have been recovered and an investigation launched.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rural Crime Team by emailing quoting reference 20000159754.

You can also pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting


Well done to the police for a very speedy notification. Obviously the investigation is still in the early stages although the proximity of a plucked wood pigeon in these photos is probably a big clue.

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

11 thoughts on “Buzzard & kestrel suspected poisoned in Derbyshire”

  1. Well done Derbyshire Constabulary for releasing this news only two days after the incident and without waiting for tests to be completed. It does rather beg the question, though, why it so often takes weeks and months for such news to emerge.

    1. No two cases are identical. Unlike the situation in most poisoning cases, the Police would have got a strong lead in this one through the presence of wood-pigeon remains and the fact of there being two apparent victims. No doubt the remains of the birds were X-rayed to eliminate shooting, leading to the strong possibility that illegal poisoning had occurred – hence the early publicity. Poisoning cases are rarely as straightforward as appears to be the case here. Well done indeed!

      1. Thank you for enlightening me but there still seems to be an extraordinary disparity between a couple of days and several months.

  2. Well done Derbyshire Police! I was actually EXPECTING it to have been a case from October or something.

  3. Quickly going public immediately poses the question why was it not always thus !

    However, well done to the police for rapidly going public. That sort of response has been very much needed. Let us all hope that it heralds a new and very welcome approach.

  4. Going on the pigeon feathers and the Kestrel I wouldn’t be suprised if the pigeon crooks had something to do with this

  5. There is a possibility this could be agricultural in origin, I seem to remember a poisoning at Rowthorne very close by a couple of years ago, but can’t remember the details.

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