Barn Owl shot on Suffolk Nature Reserve

Suffolk Police, and RSPB  are appealing for information after a barn owl was found shot at a nature reserve in Suffolk. Derek Turner, from Saxmundham, found the bird on Tuesday 23rd November whilst walking his dog at nearby RSPB nature reserve, Snape Warren.

The barn owl survived the incident, and is currently in a local bird rehabilitation centre. It is hoped that the bird will be released back onto the nature reserve later this month when it has fully recovered.

Derek explains: “As I approached the owl, I could see that it was badly hurt. It was obvious that it had a damaged wing, but it was only when we got it to the vet that we were given the shocking news that it had been shot. “I accompanied RSPB staff with the owl to the vets and have been to visit it in the rehabilitation centre now too. Thankfully, it is doing really well, and I hope to be able to join the RSPB when they release it back onto the reserve.”

It is believed that the act was a malicious attempt to cause harm to the bird, and both local police and the RSPB are keen to find out more about the incident.

RSPB Investigations Officer Guy Shorrock said: “It’s shocking that anyone would want to shoot such a beautiful and harmless bird as a barn owl. Many people get a huge amount of delight from seeing this ghostly apparition floating over the Suffolk countryside at dusk as it hunts voles and mice in the fields and hedgerows. We appeal to anyone with any information about this wicked act to contact Suffolk Police immediately”

PC Mark Bryant, Wildlife Crime Officer with Suffolk Police, added: “We are investigating this incident and are asking anyone who may have seen someone shooting on this RSPB reserve site to come forward.”

All birds of prey and owls are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A person convicted of killing one of these birds could be fined up to £5000 and /or six months in jail.

If members of the public have information about this crime they can call the RSPB on 0845 466 3636. All information will be handled in strictest confidence.

4 comments to Barn Owl shot on Suffolk Nature Reserve

  • paul williams

    December 20th

    Just back in from ferreting a plantation of young larch and scots pine trees. I am soaked to the skin and frozen. My daughter is visiting us with her boyfriend and I thought it would be a good chance for him to see some different animal tracks in the snow. I knew there was still one rabbit to get, but, as it was raining hard, I was hoping the rabbit would bolt quickly- who am I kidding? Three hours before the pesky thing bolted. The joys of young tree protection!
    We are nearly at the end of 2011. As I write this blog tomorrow is the shortest day of the year, a day everybody who works in the countryside should take time to celebrate as the hours of daylight have the biggest effect on our lives. Every day after tomorrow gives us an extra minute’s daylight; something to look forward to as the days stretch out once more.
    Looking back on 2011, I think there have been some very positive messages. The grouse season turned out to be very good for many estates, the pheasants seem to be doing well, the stags and the salmon also. But what really seems to be holding up, in this time of dire recession, is the demand for the unique fieldsports that we have in Scotland. There seems to be no shortage of people wanting to come and enjoy a day or a week in the countryside. In this modern- day electronic world, if we can offer people a special unique experience that they will never ever forget, I think that sends out a strong message for folk to come and see a wee bit of our cultural heritage. The other very important trend in the past year has been the desire from the general public to eat more game. Long may it continue.
    Politically, we have fought some very important battles especially on the snaring front and we have managed to retain a very important tool in the tool-box. We are also urging government to look again at the buzzard licensing. I strongly believe that Scotland’s wildlife would benefit enormously if the powers that be could make a start in managing our biodiversity rather than protecting it all the time!
    Wishing everybody a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2012.

  • paul williams

    Above from SGA Read last paragraph RE:- buzzards

  • paul williams

    Dog walkers chase ‘vile’ badger baiters in Allerton
    http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk
    Two distraught animal lovers, who saw a dog ripping at the throat of a badger when they stumbled upon illegal baiting, have urged the public to reveal the men responsible.

  • Mike Price

    What these imbiciles seem unable to comprehend is that Buzzard (and other predators) are a part of our biodiversity.

    They really can’t see that their continual demands to be allowed to kill protected wildlife in the name of their “sport” is seen by many as greed and increases the divide they talk so eloquently about wanting to close, even after a fantastic year they close on a note calling for controls of protected raptors.

    We can be sure that the “sport” of raptor hating has had another good year, though I hope that those involved are feeling the effects of the increased bad publicity, the extra efforts being made by the raptor workers of the UK and finally the excellent reports that are being written using the wealth of data and information that is becoming increasingly available from within these groups, reports such as this Peregrine paper by Dr Amar http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2011/11/11/who-on-google-earth-is-killing-the-worlds-fastest-birds-of-prey/

    I’ve started looking at the Goshawk nesting data for this and surrounding areas for the last 15 or so years, I wonder what that will show us. I am certain that its not going to make enjoyable reading for anyone who has an interest in birds of prey.

    It will be interesting to see it alongside the data of the Peak Nestwatch project (monitoring Goshawk and other raptors in the Upper Derwent Valley) which has recorded only 2 fledged young Goshawk this year and just 1 last year.

    Around 25 pairs of Goshawk are missing presumed dead plus of course any disperesed young birds, anyone got any suggestions as to where they went or why they suddenly stopped being successful in this area? it makes for very bleak reading.