Two Hen Harrier chicks found alive in nest after female Harrier was found dead near nest in Ayrshire.

Hen Harrier ChicksAyrshire police are investigating the suspicious death of the female Hen Harrier found dead near its nest containing two live chicks and a single egg. The on-going investigation will attempt to discover if the hen harrier’s death was a result of  ‘amusement’ or was something ‘more sinister’. We must admit we are unable to fathom what the police mean when they say the death of the harrier was a result of amusement.

The remains were found in moorland near to Muirkirk on Tuesday evening at around 7pm.

The bird’s two chicks were found alive nearby and have been taken into the care of the Scottish SPCA which has launched a joint enquiry with Police Scotland.

Detective Inspector Graham Duncan, of Kilmarnock CID, said: “Whilst at this time we cannot divulge how the bird was killed, we do believe it was the result of a criminal act and we need to establish why this has happened.

“What is the reason for it? Was it for sheer badness or amusement or perhaps something more sinister?

“We do not believe the bird was lying there for a long time, so would appeal to anyone who was in the area – which is quite remote – on Tuesday or who can assist with our enquiries to come forward.”

Killing a wild bird in Scotland is a criminal offence and punishable by a fine of up to £10,000 and six months’ imprisonment.

Superintendent Mike Flynn, of the Scottish SPCA, said: “Hen harriers are rare and it is very concerning that someone has killed such a magnificent bird of prey.

“We can be thankful the two chicks were still alive as they would have died had they not been rescued.”

“We are working closely with Police Scotland and would encourage anyone with information to call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999, where calls are treated in strict confidence, or Police Scotland on 101.”

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