Death of six turkeys not buzzards found in Fordoun, Aberdeen being investigated

Update-They were not buzzards at all, we are now informed they were  turkeys. You should have gone to speck savers.

The discovery of six dead turkeys (birds of prey) in an Aberdeenshire field is being investigated by police. The buzzards were discovered at around 3.30pm on Wednesday (1 October) in a field approximately one mile north-west of Fordoun on an unclassified road.

It is not yet known how the birds died, and police confirmed inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding the find. They have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Mearns councillor George Carr said last night: “It’s quite worrying. Police are investigating and need to try to find the facts and what the circumstances are, and really just see if there’s anything to suggest where they came from.

“There is always a lot of buzzards about the area. A crime is a crime and needs to be investigated, we need to find out what caused these six deaths.”

Mr Carr added that the find was “very unusual”.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland is investigating the death of six buzzards in the Fordoun area.

“The remains of the birds were discovered at around 1530hrs on Wednesday, October 1 in a field approximately one mile northwest of Fordoun on an unclassified road leading from Fordoun to Auchenblae.

“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding their death. Anyone with any information should call Police on 101.”

More than 20 birds of prey, including six buzzards and a number of red kites, were found dead in a two-square-mile area around Conon Bridge between March and May. Police confirmed at least 12 kites and three buzzards were illegally poisoned – more than twice the amount that died from poisoning in the whole of Scotland last year.

Buzzards are the most common bird of prey in the UK and are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The act makes it an offence to kill, injure or take a buzzard, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents. In Scotland it is also an offence to obstruct or prevent any wild bird from using its nest.

They are found in most habitats including woodland, moorland and bog, and can sometimes even be seen in towns and cities. There are currently between 57,000 and 79,000 breeding pairs in the UK.

11 comments to Death of six turkeys not buzzards found in Fordoun, Aberdeen being investigated

  • Julie Wright

    I’m surprised that there are that many breeding pairs, especially with the amount being illegally killed. One of my favourite birds of prey. The government needs to so more on Wildlife crime, but this government won’t. The public needs to be made aware, we need signs, posters leaflets showing the shocking images if these & other BOPS. The public who are not into birding but care about wildlife don’t know what a buzzard is or a hen harrier. They need to be shown, RSPB you need to make a TV commercial, all if is that support you want to see an end to wildlife crime, it’s not all ooh aah. It’s takes a lot of money & effort to make sure our wildlife survives and the people are the ones that are donating their money to you. Step up and make this public put it on the TV, people will then know what to look out for, millions of eyes like a huge neighbourhood watch. The people need to see the truth before it’s too late.

  • George Murdoch

    October the 1st is the opening of the pheasant shooting season .. a strange co-incidence or a message of sorts? I ask because these birds were found in a location close to a caravan park where locals often walk their dogs. It is also not far from local pheasant shoots on Forestry Commission land. and the road mentioned in the report above is fastest way from those shoots to the village of Fourdon. It is strange that the police did not say whether they had been poisoned or not because if they were then they present a very clear danger to the public. The other obvious explanation is that they were shot and deliberately placed in an area where they would be found. To my knowledge those living close to the site where they were found have not yet been interviewed by the police. I very much agree with the comments posted above where something like a huge neighbourhood Watch scheme should be initiated by all means possible. Educating the public would go a long way to helping address this problem.

  • Bill Robertson

    So, they were not Buzzards at all. We need to name and shame all those involved with this ridiculous farce. If those involved in raptor protection can’t tell the difference between a chicken and a buzzard what hope is there>

  • keith cowieson

    Sadly, this is what happens when hysteria is constantly whipped up around emotive issues. Egg on faces all round. Remember the paediatrician who was attacked by ‘vigilantes’ because they thought she was a paedophile! see here – http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/aug/30/childprotection.society

    Much better to let investigations run their course, and due process take place, than to jump to incorrect conclusions and instantly reach for our keyboards to stir up controversy and antagonism.

    There is plenty of time to condemn the guilty once they have been found guilty in a properly constituted court of law.

  • Mr Mackenzie

    Dear Bill Robertson, I find your response highly insulting. I am responsible for finding and reporting this incident. These birds were highly concealed under a large pile of branches and another stuffed deep within a rabbit hole. All within metres of of a bird of preys nest. Due to the condition of the birds it was difficult to determine species but presumed buzzards as they are plentiful within this area. The case is now closed as the CID have deemed them not to be raptors. I have plenty photographic evidence that may suggest otherwise and have since reviewed them more closely and the feather markings and feet are very sparrowhawk like. Although not everyone appreciates these raptors, they are rare still a protected species under the wildlife & countryside act 1981. I must also note that these birds were found close to arable farming land also used for sport shooting of both pheasant & partridge.
    I am currently pursuing this both with the police and RSPB as to why they have ceased this investigation. Perhaps there are legal circumstances in which these birds are allowed to be culled that I am unaware of.
    I am of course only human and perhaps I have made a complete error but identification of maggot ridden carcasses concealed very well within a pile of branches, i could only see feather markings & feet that appeared raptor like. Why hide chickens this way?
    With gun cartridges strewn only in close proximity to the nest, one can see why I presumed a wildlife act had taken place.
    So I stand here named but not shamed. It is better to act on something that appears as a wildlife crime than perhaps in your case, take no action and choose to ignore it.

    • nirofo

      Mr Mackenzie, you say you have plenty of photographic evidence that may suggest otherwise and have observed the feather markings are very Sparrowhawk like. If this is the case and the police and RSPB are not interested why don’t you submit them along with any evidence you may have to the Administrator of this blog for possible publication and comment.

      Editor’s Comment. We would be delighted to publish any images Mr Mackenzie may wish to provide.

  • paul williams

    And what chance is there if you cannot read….they were turkey’s! not chickens!!!

  • Eye4Mack

    Thanks Paul Williams, but I think you must be on the wrong forum. This is not an English Academia forum. If you are going to be so pedantic I must therefore point out that the plural for turkey is turkeys & not turkey’s as you have stated.
    Again, I stand by my decision to have acted upon to what I presumed was a wildlfe crime. It is very easy for people to portray me as a blind idiot that cannot determine the difference between a turkey & a raptor, but if this was so obvious, why did the Criminal Investigation Department have to get involved? (Other than the press having blown this completely out of proportion thus increasing the profile of the case). The local wildlife officers should have immediately identified that the concealed carcusses were not a protected species and dismissed the case at a much earlier stage of their investigation.
    I cannot believe nor understand why I am being persecuted & mocked by those members of this site that are alleged nature lovers. The shame should be on you.

    Editor’s Comment. No one should be blaming you for reporting this incident, but when the police took control of the investigation they should have identified the turkeys before launching a police investigation into the suspicious deaths of buzzards.

  • paul williams

    Native American Indian proverb….Never trust a man with 2 names

  • Albert Ross

    I don’t have a dog in this fight but surely in defence of Eye4Mack it is far better to report ‘possible’ Raptors that turn out to be turkeys (in both senses of the word) than not to report turkeys that are actually Buzzards?

    (BTW Paul. They are either the now non PC “Indians” or “Native Americans” not both. Just sayin!)

  • paul williams

    It still does not alter the fact that…detail is everything.