Birds of prey are found dead with gunshot wounds by walkers

PUBLISHED: 09:25 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:25 19 March 2014

A Sparrowhawk eating a pigeon.
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)

A Sparrowhawk eating a pigeon. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010 (01603 772434)


Police have warned that all wildlife crimes will be taken “extremely seriously” following the deaths of two birds of prey in mid Norfolk.

A dead sparrowhawk with gunshot injuries was discovered by a couple out walking along Brisley Road in Whissonsett, near Fakenham, on February 16.

A week later another couple heard shooting while walking in Narford Wood near Swaffham, and found a dying buzzard which had been shot.

It is an offence to intentionally kill, injure, or take wild birds, and the maximum penalty that can be imposed is a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment.

Wildlife crime officer Det Con Dave Armstrong said: “Norfolk Constabulary treats wildlife crime extremely seriously and will take appropriate action against anyone caught deliberately harming or killing wild birds. We are privileged to live in a county with many areas of outstanding beauty and are surrounded by nature in all its forms and we wish this to continue.”

He urged anyone with information to call police in strict confidence.

RSPB senior investigations officer Guy Shorrock added: “The dramatic increase in breeding buzzard numbers in Norfolk and Suffolk during the last 20 years has been a great conservation success story. We would urge anyone with information to contact the police or ourselves.”


  • "A buzzard might conceivably be mistaken for a Rook" , if you cannot identify what you are shooting then you don't shoot. Ignorance is not a defence. As for taking more issue with "fools who put up bird tables", I mean really! The gardens in this country are a valuable wildlife reservoir covering a greater area than the protected nature reserves in Britain. Most predators populations will be regulated by the available prey, a simple ecological principle. Could it just be that song bird populations have been at an artificially high level due to the previous pressures that reduced raptor numbers (e.g. DDT driven population reduction)? However the situation on all wild bird populations has now reversed due to the state of the wider ecosystem. All populations are in decline for many reasons.

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • People who kill birds of prey are psychopathic morons with ugly ambitions and no morals.

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • If someone can mistake a buzzard for a rook I would question their abilities. What hope would ravens have?

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    Dave McBride

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • No one could condone shooting birds of prey. But I hope before releasing this there were proper checks that the birds had been hit by pellets. Birds of prey do crash, it is the breeding season, they are susceptible to modern rat poison residue in dying animals so a dead bird may not necessarily have been killed. As far as I know it is legal to shoot rooks so long as they are not nesting- a buzzard might conceivably be mistaken for a rook if an attempt to deter rooks from building nests was being made. Of course we know there are bad and irresponsible gun owners but there is deal of antagonism from some quarters towards gamekeepers and shoots and some dubious press releases and the EDP should be careful of falsely maligning them. Personally I would take more issue with the fools who put bird tables out in the open , effectively turning them into sparrow hawk feeding stations. The buzzards have done an amazing job on the rabbits and rats on a farm I visit

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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