Three Buzzards reported bludgeoned to death inside Crow Trap

Just after Christmas last year three members of the public reported to the RSPB that they had discovered a crow trap located on a Cumbrian shooting estate containing three Buzzards. We understand one of the buzzards was almost dead, while the remaining two birds were found still alive.


Buzzard found in Crow trap, not the trap highlighted by this story. Image by Chris Baines

The RSPB responded within 24 hours, visiting the site inside a wooded area where they soon discovered the trap along with the Buzzards which were still inside the trap. According to information provided to Raptor Politics, the RSPB decided to install a surveillance camera to record any estate activity. In particular, the RSPB wished to record what happened to the three buzzards; would the two birds found alive be released or perhaps destroyed?

We are now aware that when the camera was rechecked a few days later what it recorded was shocking to say the least. The video captured showed a man clubbing the death the two remaining buzzards. It is alleged the person who carried out this appalling crime was a member of the shooting syndicate who had leased the shoot from the main estate owner.

Information regarding this crime, along with several other criminal related discoveries which the RSPB found on the shoot were reported to the Cumbrian police for further investigation. Disappointingly, although it has now been almost half a year since this incident came to the RSPB’s attention, there has been no information or word of any pending prosecution.


Curiously we have just been contacted by Raptor Persecution Scotland asking that this story be removed from this web site as publication may jeopardise the outcome of the prosecution case; this is something we totally refute. We are also advised the case will now be heard by either Penrith or Carlisle magistrates court next week.

6 comments to Three Buzzards reported bludgeoned to death inside Crow Trap

  • harrier man

    Shocking situation once again shoots see the law as a joke.

  • Daniel Marsden

    Once again thanks must go to the public who brought this incident to the notice of the RSPB in the first place. Its a pity the RSPB or the police are not prepared to investigate why so many peregrine territories have been found abandoned in the Forest of Bowland since licenses issued to the North West Raptor Group were revoked by Natural England in 2010. I also understand several incidents of nest interference reported to the police this year by the NWRG have been dismissed altogether. On the other hand the police were prepared to undertake a costly investigation after receiving a malicious and unfounded allegation from an RSPB warden alleging two raptor group members had intentionally disturbed a peregrine nest in April. After the two raptor workers, accompanied by their solicitor, had spent over 5 hours at Blackburn police station today providing their side of events both men were informed they were free to leave without charges being brought. Why may I ask, are these resources not being applied in catching and bringing to justice those criminals responsible for killing and destroying raptors nests throughout the Forest of Bowland which is being concealed by the RSPB?

    Daniel Marsden, Chairman North West Raptor Group

  • thomas carroll

    Having read previous postings on this scenario, I have a number of very important questions to ask…. (1)Why did the warden not relay the status of the Peregrines to the raptor group members? (2) Why have the RSPB employed someone who clearly lacks communication and social skills? (3) Why have the RSPB sanctioned this warden to stalk members of the NWRG?. (4)Why have United Utilities allowed a large white marker to be erected to commemorating the Witches Trail….Right outside the Croasdale Peregrine territory?.

  • tweedler

    Yes I thought it a very strange place to site a tourist marker about Pendle witches so near a peregrine site, but I am sure the friendly rspb warden will be on hand to pleasantly guide them in the right direction.

  • thomas carroll

    Why have the RSPB limp wrists bowed to the pressures from the landowners and grouse shooters rather than doing what they are supposed to do with the monies they beg off their unsuspecting members that donate to their charity? EG…we need your money to protect Birds of Prey!!! You don’t need money, you need a backbone for gods sake before it all goes pear shaped. Get a grip or get OUT.You have done absolutely nothing in Bowland TO SAVE BIRDS OF PREY, except persecute those with a passion for stability regarding Birds of Prey in the Forest of Bowland. If stalking men is a priority, there is something perversely wrong!

  • paul williams

    Isn’t it wonderful to see peregrine falcons doing so well away from the Forest of Bowland Killing Fields.