Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey

News March 2014

Record-breaking osprey 'Lady' returns to Loch of the Lowes
31st March 2014
An osprey has returned to a nature reserve in Perthshire for the 24th consecutive year. 'Lady' has laid a total of 70 eggs and reared 50 chicks at Loch of the Lowes. She migrates to Scotland each spring after migrating to Africa for the winter. The Scottish Wildlife Trust runs a blog on her seasonal exploits and you can also watch her on their osprey webcam.

Government launches public consultation on increased powers for SSPCA to investigate wildlife crime
31st March 2014
The SRSG welcomes today's news that the Scottish Government has launched its long-awaited public consultation on whether the SSPCA should be given increased powers to investigate more wildlife crimes. We wholeheartedly support an increase in powers and we will be submitting a formal response to the consultation, which closes on 1st September 2014. We encourage others to participate. The consultation papers and instructions for participation can be found here.

Conon Bridge raptor death roll rises again and RSPB Scotland offer a £5,000 reward
29th March 2014
Fourteen dead raptors have now been discovered in a small area close to Conon Bridge in Ross-shire. The death toll includes ten red kites and four buzzards. RSPB Scotland has offered a £5,000 reward for information which leads to a successful prosecution. See here.

Raptor death toll in Ross-shire incident rises to 13; poisoning confirmed in early-tested birds.
28th March 2014
The SRSG is shocked to learn that the number of dead raptors retrieved in the Conon Bridge incident has risen again to 13 birds, including 9 red kites and 4 buzzards. Police Scotland has confirmed that tests on the first few birds have confirmed the birds were poisoned. The name of the poison has not yet been released. 

Raptor poisoning incidents doubled in 2013 according to newly-released figures
28th March 2014
The Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland) has published the latest 'poisoning maps' to document recorded raptor poisoning incidents across Scotland in 2013. The latest figues show that reported poisoning incidents doubled in 2013 from 2012 figures, with six confirmed poisoned raptors. The victims included a golden eagle, a red kite and four buzzards. The latest maps also document other types of raptor persecution crimes for the first time, including shooting and nest disturbance. The maps can be viewed here. Disappointingly, the new maps do not show where poisoned baits (without an associated raptor corpse) have been discovered. It is clear that there is much more work to be done to combat the continued persecution of Scottish raptors.

More dead raptors found in suspicious circumstances near Conon Bridge
27th March 2014
Eleven dead birds of prey have now been discovered in an area close to Conon Bridge in Ross-shire, according to the BBC. See here

Police Scotland launch investigation after discovery of five dead red kites and one buzzard in suspicious circumstances
25th March 2014
Five red kites and one buzzard have been found dead in suspicious circumstances over the last week. The birds were found at different, but nearby, locations in the Conon Bridge and Muir of Ord region of Ross-shire. The Police say they do not yet know the cause of death but said it was likely the deaths involved "some form of criminality". More details here.

Tawny owl survives 300-mile train journey from Glasgow to Northampton
19th March 2014
A tawny owl has survived after clinging to the front of a train on a 300-mile journey from Glasgow to Northampton. The owl, named Lucky, is now being treated for a sprained wing at Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary.It is hoped the bird can be released back into the wild after a period of recuperation. Further information can be found here.

Environment Minister 'not yet convinced' of need to have a national bird
18th March 2014 
The RSPB's proposal to have the golden eagle named as Scotland's National Bird has been thrown off course after Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse questioned the need to have a National Bird. The Scottish Raptor Study Group had previously written to the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee in full support of the proposal, stating that the designation could help promote the conservation and protection of this species. Further details can be found here.


2014: January, February, March,
2013: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December,
2012: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.