Buzzard found shot near Easingwold in North Yorkshire. No proven link between raptors illegally killed and the shooting industry!

red-grouseHot on the heals of a red kite reported shot last October in Yorkshire (read the story here), the North Yorkshire Constabulary are now reporting the discovery of a second bird of prey, a buzzard, also found shot in the county earlier this month.

The buzzard was found on Brownmoor Lane in Huby on Friday 14 February 2014, with five shotgun pellets in its body. One of the pellets had shattered the bird’s wing. The buzzard was taken to a local vets but could not survive its injuries and had to be put down.

The police are appealing to anyone with information about the incident to contact them with information.

PC Clare Mayes, of Thirsk and Easingwold Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “I am appealing to anyone who saw people shooting in the area on Friday 14 February to get in touch.

“I would also appeal to anyone who may have been out shooting on that day to come forward as it may be the case that they have accidentally shot the buzzard while shooting other wildlife.

“It is always sad when a bird of prey sustains such injuries and it is important that we establish how this buzzard was shot.”

Anyone who can help officers with their enquiries is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Clare Mayes or Thirsk and Easingwold Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Alternatively, information can be emailed to

If you prefer not to give your name, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please quote reference number 12140024639 when passing information about this incident.

There is no proven link between birds of prey illegally killed and the shooting industry.

In a letter published in the Scotsman today 25th February, Bird of prey deaths associated with grouse moors are just unproven rumour claims Tim Baynes, Director, Scottish Land & Estates Moorland Group. Read the letter here.

It’s interesting that Mr.Baynes seems to have taken very little account of scientific evidence which shows conclusively the link between raptor persecution and red grouse moors, not only in Scotland but also across the border in England.

In September Raptor Politics published a shocking account titled the “Final Solution” detailing the disappearance of almost an entire regional peregrine population on grouse moors in Lancashires Forest of Bowland. This Final Solution did not highlight the loss of all breeding hen harriers from moorland across England’s uplands used to shoot red grouse.  Does Mr Baynes think these disappearances occurred as a consequence of natural circumstances?

Fact-Peregrine are disappearing from England’s northern uplands because of persecution on moorlands used to shoot red grouse. If anyone has any doubt read the details below which clearly undermines what Mr. Baynes is claiming in his letter. 

  1. In the Northern Pennines historical territories once frequented by the peregrine have been reduced by persecution from 15 breeding pairs to just 4. This year 2 of these sites were unproductive and a third nest was robbed of a clutch of eggs. The last site was successful.
  2. Throughout Derbyshire’s Dark Peak of the 11 territorial sites only three nesting pairs were successful, producing 5 young this year. One additional site was established just a few hundred yards outside the Peak boundary.
  3. The North Yorkshire Moors. 2 historic territories no longer occupied, the area has potential for at least another 6 territories but being restricted by persecution.
  4. The Yorkshire Dales, this year of the 13 historical upland territories examined, I am aware of only 2 sites which were productive fledging a total of 4 young.
  5. The Durham Uplands, 12 historic territories located on red grouse moors, not one territory currently occupied due to extensive persecution. (territories located away from grouse moors are more successful in Durham)
  6. Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland has witnessed an unprecedented peregrine population crash with only a single breeding success recorded this year. In the last 4 years fifteen peregrine territories have been found abandoned, resulting in the disappearance of at least thirty adult falcons that once occupied these sites.

Totals:  Of the 77 historic peregrine territories which existed on red grouse moors in the 6 regions above, only 11 pairs remain that we are aware of.

Sixty years of protection but the illegal killing OF BIRDS OF PREY continues according the figures produced by the RSPB.

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