Masked gunmen caught on camera trying to destroy goshawk nest

Police Scotland together with the RSPB  need your help to identify and bring to justice  gunmen filmed below an active goshawk nest which they are trying to destroy  using shotguns. The released video footage shows at least two masked gunmen shooting at the nest located in the Cairngorms National Park.

Both gunmen, wearing balaclavas, were filmed using a secret camera set up to monitor the nest site on Forestry Commission Scotland land at Glen Nochty, Strathdon. The masked men made at least four visits to the nest tree – 14th May 2014 at 10.26hrs and again at 20.08hrs, and 15th May 2014 at 09.11hrs and again at 20.01hrs.

The video has been released in an appeal for information – nine months after the crimes were committed.


Goshawk nests are regularly targeted by gamekeepers who see these protected birds as a threat to game birds.

RSPB Scotland is offering £1,000 for information leading to a conviction of the individuals seen in the video.

Ian Thomson, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, said: “This video footage captured by our camera shows what appears to be an illegal incident involving the deliberate targeting of one of our rarest and specially protected birds of prey.

“We are appealing to anybody with information about this incident to contact the police or Crimestoppers as a matter of urgency.

“On account of serious concerns about the impacts of illegal activity on the Scottish goshawk population, RSPB Scotland is now offering a reward of £1,000 for any information that subsequently leads to a successful conviction in this case.”

4 comments to Masked gunmen caught on camera trying to destroy goshawk nest

  • nirofo

    Makes you wonder why it’s taken 9 months for the “police” ? to ask for help in identifying these criminals who are so obviously in breech of their gun licence regulations, not to mention the fact that they are shooting at the nest of a Schedule One protected Goshawk during the nesting season.

    Editor’s Comment. If these criminal were on this land without the approval or knowledge of the landowner, they were also committing armed trespass, a very serious offence.

  • alan

    I don’t understand this one.
    The video shows someone shooting a gun in the air.
    It doesn’t show anything getting shot.
    They don’t claim anything was shot.
    It doesn’t show a Goshawk nest.
    I would have thought if there was intent to shoot a goshawk on the nest, you wouldn’t have missed.
    It may be they were trying to scare away a sitting bird without actually touching it, but none of this is apparent from the video.
    There is the possibility that the RSPB are publisising because nothing has or will be done, like the sea eagle nesting tree cut down in Glen Esk.
    But that could just be a video of someone shooting pigeons.
    What ever, im certain their paltry £1000.00 is safe.



    • nirofo

      A shot through the nest would either destroy the nest contents or the nest or both, the bird doesn’t have to be there to stop it breeding for that season. I’ve seen the results of this approach to removing Goshawks and other Raptors several times, nothing ceases to amaze me at the strokes these people will get up to.

  • Jeff

    Maybe they were wearing masks/balaclavas because the poor lambs were feeling the cold? After all it was the Cairngorms in May….

    Editor’s Comment. Jeff, maybe they were wearing them because they already knew the site was being monitored by a camera?