Red-footed falcon, a rare summer visitor to Britain, found shot to death

A rare red-footed falcon has been found shot dead near Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire Police, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the RSPB are all appealing for anyone with information regarding this appalling shooting of such a rare protected bird to come forward. You will find the RSPB press release HERE

Red Footed

The RSPB have offered a reward of £1,000 for information.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary Wildlife Crime Officer Alun Bradshaw said: “It’s awful that this rare bird has been needlessly and cowardly shot in the county.

A post-mortem examination carried out after the body was passed to the RSPB confirmed that the bird, a young (sub-adult) male, had been recently shot and that this was the cause of death.

“We take these matters seriously and are asking for anyone with information to contact us or Crimestoppers.”

RSPB experts have also been able to confirm that the shot red-footed falcon is the same bird that birdwatchers and nature lovers in the Midlands and East of England had delighted in seeing since it was first spotted in Stoke, Staffordshire in July this year.

Red-footed falcons are rare visitors to the UK from the nearest breeding population in Eastern Europe, from where they migrate to Sub-Saharan Africa to spend the winter. They are listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species.

RSPB senior investigations officer Mark Thomas said: “The death of this beautiful and rare bird is sickening, it has spent nearly three months touring the UK and delighting thousands of people only to be shot dead in Cambridgeshire.’

“I only hope that someone who knows something about the circumstances in which this bird was killed will share any information they have to help the police in their investigation.”

•Anyone with any information is urged to contact Cambridgeshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

3 comments to Red-footed falcon, a rare summer visitor to Britain, found shot to death

  • Julie Wright

    They’ve got no chance of anyone grassing who shot the bird they must be a good shot and practice regularly. the red-footed falcon is a small falcon and flies very fast. We need more wildlife police but that’s not going to happen because the police force is being whittled down, what chance has wildlife got.

  • Albert Ross

    Probably shot it whilst perched. They can be quite confiding as this one was. Ba$tard$!

  • keith mills

    We had a couple up here on the Northumberland coast about the same time, a pallid harrier as well at Holy Island.