Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey


Shot buzzard being treated at rescue centre in North Ayrshire
30th July 2013
An injured buzzard that had suffered a gunshot wound has been rescued and is now being treated at the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre near Beith, North Ayrshire. A pellet had ripped into the bird's crop (a food storage pouch in the throat). Staff at the centre are hopeful the bird will make a full recovery. 

Scottish Raptor Study Group helps highlight hen harrier persecution
22nd July 2013
The Scottish Raptor Study Group has helped to highlight the serious problem of hen harrier persecution on driven grouse moors. At a secret location in Perthshire, BBC Scotland filmed Tayside Raptor Study Group member Wendy Mattingley as she monitored an active hen harrier nest and discussed the impact of illegal killing on this specially-protected species. Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse was also interviewed about the declining hen harrier population and the transcript can be read here. The Scottish Raptor Study Group strongly disagrees with the Minister's statement that 'one or two' estates may be involved in the killing of these birds; there is ample long-term scientific evidence to demonstrate that the problem is far more widespread, particularly in the Eastern Highlands and Southern Uplands.

A Saga of Sea Eagles: new book by RSG member about the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles to Scotland
18th July 2013
A much-anticipated new book will be published this month, providing first-hand experience and anecdotes from the man who has been central to the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles in Scotland. Raptor Study Group member John Love was the Project Officer for the pioneering releases on the Isle of Rum from 1975-1985 and is a member of the UK Sea Eagle Project Team, advising on the later stages of the reintroduction. John authored the highly-acclaimed book 'The Return of the Sea Eagle' in 1983 (Cambridge University Press) and his latest book, 'A Saga of Sea Eagles' (Whittles Publishing) brings the story up to date. It will be published on 31st July 2013 and is available from the usual outlets. For further details, please visit the publisher's webpage.

Scottish Raptor Study Group member receives MBE from the Queen
17th July 2013
Congratulations to SRSG member and former police chief inspector Kevin Findlater, who has been awarded an MBE for services to the environment and the communities of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. Kevin joined the police force in 1984 after studying biology at Stirling University and he became one of the first wildlife crime officers in Scotland. He was instrumental in leading 'Operation Ironworks' which tackled antisocial behaviour across Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and helped to reduce crime rates and problems with littering. Kevin was an active member of Central Raptor Study Group and has now retired to Dumfriesshire, where he has recently joined the Dumfries & Galloway Raptor Study Group.

Young peregrine returned to the wild in Aberdeenshire by SSPCA
17th July 2013
A young peregrine falcon found grounded by the roadside in Aberdeenshire has been safely returned to the wild by the SSPCA. Full story here.

Dead buzzard found near Heriot had been shot: police appeal for information
16th July 2013
The police are appealing for information following the discovery of a dead buzzard in the Borders. A post mortem revealed the bird had been shot. The bird's badly decomposed carcass was found by a dog walker close to Carcant Hill on 30th June.

Red kite found poisoned in central Scotland
10th July 2013
A recently published government report has revealed that a poisoned red kite was found in central Scotland in March this year. It had been poisoned with Mevinphos, an acutely toxic banned poison, better known under the trade name Phosdrin. Understandably, Police Scotland have been criticised for not publicising this incident.

Scottish Gamekeepers' Association makes lofty claims about their role in golden eagle conservation
8th July 2013
The Scottish Gamekeepers' Association (SGA) claims that golden eagles are doing well on grouse moors in East and Central Scotland and say that there at least 55 active golden eagle nests on these keeper-managed moorlands. Critics have strongly disputed their claim that golden eagles are doing well in this region. We published a letter in the Scotsman to announce a forthcoming analysis of SRSG nest data to compare the figures with those claimed by the SGA. The results will be published on this website.

Scotland's version of the Bermuda Triangle, where eagles 'disappear'
5th July 2013
An area of Scotland has been described as the 'avian Bermuda Triangle' following the disappearance of yet another eagle. A fifth eagle has recently 'vanished' in the 100 square kilometre area between Moray and Aberdeenshire. Article in the Independent.

Tweed Valley osprey chicks ringed
2nd July 2013
A group of schoolchildren were invited to watch three osprey chicks being ringed at a secret location in the Tweed Valley yesterday. There are now ten active osprey nests in the region, all monitored by Forestry Commission Conservation Manager and Raptor Study Group member Tony Lightley and his colleagues. Approximately 160 osprey chicks have been ringed since the Tweed Valley Osprey Project began in 1999.

Environment Minister launches new measures to crack down on illegal raptor persecution
1st July 2013
Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse has announced a series of measures designed to tackle the continuing problem of illegal raptor persecution. He condemned the "outdated, barbaric and criminal practices" that are putting wildlife at risk. The Scottish Raptor Study Group welcomes the initiatives and looks forward to seeing tangible results from this work.


2013: January, February, March, April, May, June,
2012: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.