A buzzard found shot in Northamptonshire is the latest victim on this year’s list of birds that won’t see in the New Year.

The bird was found injured but alive in Sywell Country Park, Northamptonshire. A Park Ranger reported it to the police and the RSPB, and the bird was examined by a vet. An X-ray revealed that the buzzard had been shot with lead gun shot – you can see the pellet embedded next to the birds’ spine. There was also damage to the bird’s wing.

Despite efforts by the brilliant Raptor Foundation in Cambridgeshire to rehabilitate it, sadly the buzzard had to be euthanized soon after due to the extent of its injuries.

To kill or injure a bird of prey is a criminal offence and could result in an unlimited fine or up to six months in jail. Northamptonshire Police have opened an investigation, and are appealing for any information or witnesses to come forward.

Also this year, in July, a red kite was found shot near Corby – one of many raptors reported to us throughout the course of 2018. It too had to be put down, and despite a police investigation and appeal, no culprit had been identified.