Goshawk suffers shotgun injuries to head

The following images appeared on social media a couple of days ago.

This is a goshawk that was found critically injured in Brockweir, Gloucestershire in April 2016 and was taken to Vale Wildlife Hospital. It had been shot in the head.

Unfortunately its injuries were so severe the decision was taken to euthanise the bird.

No further information available.

UPDATE Tues 26th April: Glos Police has today issued an appeal for info here

Photographs by Vale Wildlife Hospital

Goshawk shot Chepstow April 2016

goshawk shot Chepstow April 2016b

Goshawk shot Chepstow April 2016c

Red kite shot dead in North east England

rk by David TomlinsonYet another red kite has been illegally killed in North-east England.

The body of the latest victim was discovered in Chopwell Wood, west of Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, over the Easter weekend. It had been shot.

For those of you who read Mick Render’s poignant guest blog on Mark Avery’s website last week (here), this news will come as no surprise.

Further details of the latest fatality here.

Red kite photo by David Tomlinson

Shot red kite successfully rehabilitated and released

Last month we blogged about an injured red kite that had been found in Malton, North Yorkshire. It had suffered shotgun injuries to the throat and was being cared for by wildlife rehabilitator extraordinaire, Jean Thorpe (see here).

After a few weeks of care and attention, that red kite was successfully released back to the wild yesterday (Photo by Robert Fuller)


Well done and thank you, Jean Thorpe, what a remarkable lady! Remember, Jean does this in a voluntary capacity with no government funding to support her work. Please consider making a small (or large!) donation to help her: HERE.

Of course, North Yorkshire isn’t the only location where red kites are routinely persecuted, either by illegal trapping, shooting or poisoning. There’s a poignant commentary on Mark Avery’s blog today, documenting the disgraceful persecution of red kites on the grouse moors of north east England and how this is suppressing the expansion of the reintroduced kite population. It’s an all too familiar story (e.g. see here).

Join the tens of thousands of ordinary people who are saying enough is enough: HERE

Peregrine found dead at persecution hotspot, Co. Antrim

The Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG) has reported the discovery of a dead peregrine at a known persecution hotspot in Glenwherry, Co. Antrim.

In 2012, a recently fledged peregrine was found dead underneath the nest cliff. It had been shot (see here).

The latest dead peregrine (part of a breeding pair) was discovered on Monday 11th April 2016. The bird has been sent for post mortem as it is strongly suspected it has been illegally killed.

Peregrine Glenwherry

Dr Marc Ruddock from the NIRSG, who has monitored peregrines in this area for over a decade, said: “It is deeply frustrating to think that someone might have gone out of their way to target this bird if the post mortem confirms an illegal act. In 2014 there were only 57 successful breeding peregrines across the whole of Northern Ireland. The loss of a breeding adult has the potential to lead to desertion of a historical breeding site and widespread persecution could result in serious implications for the viability of the Northern Ireland population of peregrines.

NIRSG volunteers will be increasing surveillance and monitoring at peregrine sites across the country immediately in order to protect nesting sites at this time of year and will report any suspicious activity to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. I would urge the public to be vigilant and also report any suspicious activity or vehicles in the vicinity of cliffs or quarries immediately to PSNI”.

Dr Eimear Rooney, NIRSG representative on the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW), said: “Disappointingly our fieldworkers detect incidents of raptor crime each year, particularly of peregrines, red kites and buzzards being poisoned or shot. Wildlife crime incidents, particularly where they occur in remote locations, can often go unreported. PAW is working hard to raise awareness both of the law and the protection it affords birds of prey. However, there are clearly still those individuals who are determined to kill birds of prey“.

In March this year, the PSNI and PAW group launched Operation Raptor, a multi-agency initiative aimed at targeting those who continue to kill birds of prey (see here).

Peregrine Glenwherry 2

Buzzard shot in East Yorkshire

A buzzard with shot gun injuries has been found on farmland at North Frodingham, Driffield, in East Yorkshire.

It has undergone surgery to have its wing pinned and is now being cared for by Jean Thorpe of Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation. If you’d like to help support Jean’s never-ending voluntary efforts, please consider a donation here.

Anyone with news about the buzzard shooting please contact Humberside Police on 101.

Buzzard shot Driffield April 2016 Jean Thorpe

Buzzard shot Driffield April 2016 Jean Thorpe 2

More raptor persecution in North Yorkshire

Over the last few years North Yorkshire has emerged as one of the worst raptor persecution hot spots in the UK (see here). It’s a county where much of the landscape is dominated by grouse moors, particularly in the two National Parks: the North York Moors NP and the Yorkshire Dales NP, as well as a large number of pheasant and partridge shoots.

It’s only March and already this year there’s been an illegally shot red kite and a suspected illegally spring-trapped buzzard.

The critically-injured buzzard was found in February at Wykeham, North Yorkshire. It had a broken, crushed ankle and a broken thigh bone; injuries consistent with being caught in a spring trap, says local Police Wildlife Crime Officer Graham Bilton. Local expert raptor and wildlife rehabilitator Jean Thorpe was once again called to the scene to assist but the buzzard’s injuries were considered too serious and it was euthanised by a vet. Article in Yorkshire Post here. Anyone with information please call Police WCO Graham Bilton on 101.

Photographs of the buzzard by Jean Thorpe:

buzzard spring trapped Jean Thorpe Feb 2016

buzzard spring trapped Jean Thorpe Feb 2016 b

Yesterday, Jean posted the following photographs showing an injured red kite that had been found at Low Marishes, Malton. An x-ray revealed it had been shot. This kite is currently being cared for but whether it survives remains to be seen. Anyone with information please call Police WCO Jez Walmsley on 101.

Red kite shot March 2016 Jean Thorpe

Red kite shot March 2016 Jean Thorpe 2

Jean Thorpe (pictured above with the shot red kite) runs Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation. She works closely with the RSPB and local Police Wildlife Crime Officers and has her work cut out, living where she does. In 2014 she was awarded an MBE for her tireless voluntary work. If you’d like to make a donation towards her efforts, please click here.

The e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting can be found HERE.

Hooks attached to pigeon’s legs designed to injure raptors

The RSPCA is appealing for information after the discovery of a pigeon that had sharp hooks attached to its legs. The bird was found stuck in someone’s garden in Poolfield Road, Lichfield on Tuesday.

There’s only one reason for attaching hooks like this to a pigeon, and that’s to cause serious damage to any raptor, like a sparrowhawk or a peregrine, that might try to prey on the pigeon.

Pigeon hook 1

pigeon hook 2

Presumably the RSPCA has paid a visit to the local pigeon racing lofts in the Lichfield area as part of their investigation.

Full article in the Lichfield Mercury here