The shooting of a young Peregrine Falcon in the Goyt Valley on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border has been well-covered by our big brother blog, Raptor Persecution UK (see here). Again – they broke the news of a raptor killing – they do that a lot.
But there has been follow-up information on the BBC and in the local Stoke newspaper and on @RSPBbirders Twitter account (from which I have borrowed the images on this blog (hoping not to be sued by the RSPB for publicising this)). What hasn’t been reported (except in a comment on the RPUK blog – which I had missed until I checked with them – so much of the world may have missed it too) is that this young Peregrine was one of those fledged from the BT tower in Hanley, Stoke-on Trent.
BT towers in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Stafford and Stoke on Trent) had a hat-trick of successful nests this year and you can watch a video of the Stoke-on-Trent birds here – you’ll notice that the ‘BT staff have grown very fond of their feathered friends’.
To the best of my rather imperfect knowledge, this is the first occasion when we know that an urban-bred Peregrine has been killed on or very near a driven grouse moor. Wildlife crime involving birds of prey is not really news on grouse moors – birds of prey, protected though they have been in law since 1954, are not welcome on many grouse moors.
This young bird, raised in the city, wandered around, as they do, and found itself in what would have looked like a great place to set up territory, maybe even to raise its own brood of chicks in due course. How lucky, it might have thought, to have found such a good spot with no Peregrines already well-established as the owners.
If this young Peregrine had been able to read the signs it would have been reassured to learn that it was settling in a National Park in which there was a raptor forum established to look after birds of prey like itself.
And now it’s just another victim of illegal killing, directed deliberately and specifically against protected birds of prey, in an upland English National Park (and things are no better in Scotland by the way). From fluffy feathered friend in Stoke to a victim of wildlife crime in a National Park.
Sign the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting which closes on Tuesday night and which will be debated in parliament later this autumn.
- Posted in: e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting