Peregrine Falcons epitomize everyone’s vision of a top avian predator. They are sleek, elegant and phenomenally fast, stooping on their prey at up to 200 kilometres per hour.
Whilst urban Peregrines populations are increasing slightly their rural relatives are not faring so well. NERF members have been monitoring Peregrine nests for decades and there is a large body of evidence, gathered by experienced, licensed fieldworkers, to demonstrate that persecution, the killing of Peregrine Falcons, is continuing to have a detrimental impact on their numbers.
Whilst it is extremely disappointing to learn that another one of these magnificent has been killed, regrettably it comes as no surprise.
Following a report on a local Facebook group page that there was a dead Peregrine at the foot of a pylon on the Elton Reservoir local nature reserve, Bury a birdwatcher went in search of the bird and found the corpse beneath the pylon on 7th May [12th May in the papers – what do you think?]. A Peregrine had been watched regularly on the same pylon by local birdwatchers and was last recorded there, alive, on 30th April.
When the body was recovered it was evident that it had badly scavenged, however an x-ray organised by RSPCA Inspector Paul Heaton, a member of the NERF affiliated Manchester Raptor Group, revealed that there was an air pellet or a bullet embedded in the body.
A post mortem is to be conducted by the RSPCA to remove the air pellet or bullet, which may assist the Police in their investigations to trace the culprit.
Despite the fact that the two local landowners had not given anyone permission to shoot over their respective land local people have reported that someone was shooting wood pigeons illegally in the area.
NERF would like to thank the RSPCA for taking the lead in the investigation of the killing of this Peregrine Falcon.
Eldon Reservoir is popular with dog walkers and the RSPCA have launched an appeal for information surrounding the killing of this magnificent bird. If you have any information that would aid the investigation please contact the authorities.
There are several ways to pass on information confidentially; you can contact:
- The Police on 101
- Crimestoppers on 0800 555111
- RSPCA Investigations on 0300 1234 999
- RSPB Investigation Team on 01767 680551
- RSPB hotline on 0300 999 0101
15 May 2019