Looking out for Scotland's birds of prey

Rifle used for shooting raptors

All birds of prey across Britain are strictly protected by law and so you should never have to witness these birds being shot. Wildlife criminals will shoot raptors any time of the day and occasionally in the early evening or even during the night whilst the birds are roosting.

These criminals can be opportunists, taking their chance whilst nobody is about, to shoot a raptor in broad daylight which has suddenly come into view. They may also plan their shoot ahead, placing dead hares, rabbits or carrion on the ground and allowing the local raptors to become confident in taking the food over a period of days or weeks. The criminals will then lay in wait to shoot the birds that have become accustomed to the free meal offerings.

A similar method may be used to attract raptors to a certain spot to be shot, but decoys are used instead of dead animals. These are often in the form of plastic or wooden shaped copies of birds of prey that have been fixed to a wooden stake. Some are even mechanical and mimic a bird’s flapping wings. Although these decoys have been made to attract birds such as crows, who will dive bomb and approach what they believe to be a raptor in an attempt to scare it away, the decoys may also be used to attract territorial raptors close to a particular spot where again, wildlife criminals will shoot the birds.

Raptors will also be shot whilst on the nest. 

Latest report

Project Raptor warns local community of poisoning

After more poison was discovered in the area of Abington and Leadhills in South Lanarkshire, this time found in the body of a peregrine falcon, Project Raptor has again visited these local communities and distributed posters alerting them to the persecution of birds of prey in their area as well as to the dangers of coming into contact with the poison.

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About Project Raptor

Hen Harrier

We will offer you reports and images related to the threats that raptors are facing within the Scottish countryside today. This website will be of interest to those who are active in raptor protection and conservation and people who would just like to learn more about the threats facing birds of prey.
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What you can do


On our ‘Eagle Eye’ page we also offer advice and guidance in identifying the various methods that criminals may use to target and kill raptors as well as directing you to the people that can help if you do come across an incident which you believe may be related to raptor persecution.
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