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…….