Peregrine found shot & critically injured in Fife

Press release from the Scottish SPCA (2nd August 2021)

Peregrine falcon shot near Kirkcaldy

We are appealing for information after a peregrine falcon was shot near Kirkcaldy.

We were alerted to the incident after the female bird was discovered on farmland at Grange Farm near Kirkcaldy on 25 July.

The falcon was unable to fly and was transferred to the Society’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross where x-rays uncovered she had been shot.

[Photos and x-rays by Liam Reed]

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said, “We were shocked to hear that the peregrine falcon had been shot.

This poor bird was extremely lucky to be spotted by the farm worker, who took immediate steps to ensure the falcon’s welfare and survival.

The shot would have knocked the bird out of the sky almost instantaneously so the incident will have happened close to the farmland the bird was found on.

Thankfully, due to the expert avian vets we have at our national wildlife hospital, the falcon has a good chance at recovery and release back in to the wild.

Peregrine falcons are a Schedule One listed species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act and it is illegal to intentionally harm or kill one of these birds.

We are working closely with Police Scotland to establish the circumstances around the bird’s injuries due to the use of a firearm in the incident.

We would like to find out what happened to this falcon. If anyone witnessed anything on the 25 July or has any information they feel may be relevant they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999 or Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number quoting incident number 1390 of 28 July 2021.”

Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer, Detective Constable Ben Pacholek, said: “The fact that a shotgun has apparently been used in an attempt to kill a bird of prey is of serious concern. This incident is sadly another example of the unacceptable persecution of raptors in Scotland.

I strongly urge anyone within the local and wider community to come forward with details or any information about this incident which can help the ongoing investigation.”

If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.


You can see on the x-ray that the peregrine’s ulna has been broken by the shotgun pellets. This is a clear indication the bird was shot close to where it was found – there’s no way this bird would have been able to fly with an injury that severe:

Well done to the Scottish SPCA for getting this appeal for information out so quickly. This should be the very least we expect from investigating authorities but as many of you will know, it doesn’t happen as often as it should.

Standby for news of another case involving a shot peregrine that Police Scotland has refused to publicise…….

11 thoughts on “Peregrine found shot & critically injured in Fife”

  1. Such depressing news. I hope the culprit is identified and held to account but I don’t hold out much hope.

    1. It really can’t be hard to identify the culprit. How many people are allowed to shoot where it was found, possibly only one even?

      The perpetrator must be brought to justice

      1. Even if this were the case you still have to prove that they did it and of course they wouldn’t admit it would they. Sadly the authorities have to use all the rules of evidence and treat any suspect fairly, I’m sure there are many of us that could get a suspect to talk ( veterinary horse castrators anyone) but that would be inadmissible and wrong however we wish otherwise. These scum and that is what they are get away with these sickening crimes against our wildlife time and time again, one thing is for sure nobody in the game shooting fraternity will be condemning this crime whoever did it.

  2. Further evidence if it was needed that shotguns are far too easily obtained and held. Much tighter controls are urgently needed. Licences should only be issued in rare circumstances and then only for fixed periods

    1. A reliable source claims we have at least one local farmer who essentially shoots anything that moves. How many farmers really need to have a shotgun these days or is it just tradition now?

  3. I would not be surprised if it was done for or by pigeon fanciers in the area. Fife yet again shows an underlying culture among some of contempt for wildlife and the law. We’ll see if the police take it seriously…that remains to be seen.
    Fife police at times were never keen to investigate wildlife crime (nothing to do with the influential power of a certain estate owner…).Scotland is getting more like a Mediterranean country by the month with the contempt for wildlife.

  4. This looks like shot gun pellets.
    Surely the noise would have got folks talking?
    Or what the time was if they heard the shots. The gun licences for the local area. If a car was seen on CCTV and matched with a gun licence this could be the culprit.
    I hope you catch the scum.

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