RSPCA appeals for information after sparrowhawk shot in Scunthorpe

Article from the Lincolnite, written by Ellis Karran, dated 13 November 2020.

Bird of prey had to be put down after it was shot with an air rifle

RSPCA investigating the case

The RSPCA is appealing for tighter controls on air weapons after a sparrowhawk was put to sleep due to being shot by an air rifle in Scunthorpe.

The bird was found lying on its back with its wings out after flying out of woods near Darnholme Crescent on Wednesday, before crashing into a car because of its injuries from the gunshot.

A passer-by spotted the bird of prey and contacted the RSPCA who brought it in for treatment.

The decision was made to put the sparrowhawk down as a result of its injuries, with the bird’s chest and wing damaged beyond repair and rehabilitation being impossible.

[Photos by RSPCA]

RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell, investigating the case, said: “This poor sparrowhawk was in a very bad way after being shot and after further assessment, very sadly the decision was made to put the bird to sleep to end its suffering.

It is likely that the bird was shot with an air gun while in flight, and it is very concerning that somebody in the area was taking shots at wildlife in this way.

Whilst there are some shooting practices which are legal, it is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act to intentionally injure, kill or take a wild bird, except under licence.

Anyone found guilty could face an unlimited fine and/or six months imprisonment.

The animal welfare charity are now appealing for information about the incident, asking anyone who can help resolve this incident to call 0300 1238018.


9 thoughts on “RSPCA appeals for information after sparrowhawk shot in Scunthorpe”

  1. Sounds like the work of another gun nut.

    There are some utterly vile cretins at loose.

    “Anyone found guilty could face an unlimited fine and/or six months imprisonment.”
    ……….. which, in reality, translates into “Anyone found guilty has no chance of facing an unlimited fine and/or six months imprisonment.”

    1. Its all very sad and the misguided should not have access to an air rifle in the first place but making the penalties harsher will not stop this behaviour .
      If these morons had no air rifle this would make a huge difference harsh sentences do not bring things back to life

  2. I have an air rifle, the only thing that gets shot with it is Rattus norvegicus or Brown Rat. I don’t like shooting them but it’s either that or putting poison down. If I put poison down It’ll also kill the Owls, Buzzards, Kestrels & Sparrowhawks that visit our barn, loft & garden.

    1. Likewise – I used poison as well but one of the effects seemed to be “dopey” rodents wandering about and I was concerned that the local owls and buzzards might think these presented an easy meal with unfortunate consequences. Trapping seemed ineffectual and although I quite like our “country” rats you can have too much of a good thing – and I don’t care for cats either. About once a year we have a stoat patrol the drystane dyke and woodpile who does a good job, but he (or she) also likes the hens eggs as well.
      With regard to the utterly incomprehensible shooting of the Sparrowhawk if indeed it was “shot in flight” it must be both the luckiest and unluckiest shots of all time.

  3. BTW those images look more like a female Kestrel to me. but maybe its just the colour of my monitor that is wrong.

    1. Definitely a Sparrowhawk, Nigel. Aside from the plumage (barring in particular) look at the eye. Kestrels, like all falcons, show dark irides.

  4. The vilification of Sparrowhawks by the ignorant fluffy-bunny brigade / Songbird Survival has a lot to answer for. Bird focused Facebook groups are repositories of people hating Sparrowhawks, Magpies, etc for being predators. Their idiocy is staggering.

    1. Simon,

      I think the problem is that some of the “fluffy-bunny brigade” or “Robin strokers”, while actually well-intentioned are deliberately manipulated by SS and the Bothams of this world, who feed them a toxic diet of lies, much in the way that certain populist polititians exploit the ignorance and resentment of marginalised elements of society, while not actually giving a damn about them or their circumstances. Just as SS don’t really give a flying fXXX about “songbirds”.

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