Appeal for information after injured buzzard found near Kirkby Malzeard

7 May 2020

North Yorkshire Police investigating after incident in which bird appears to have been shot .

A member of the public was walking on a footpath near Belford Lane, Kirkby Malzeard, on 13 April 2020 when they found an injured buzzard. After seeking expert help, the bird was caught and taken to a local vet where x-rays showed the bird suffering a broken wing and also the profile of a shotgun pellet in the wing.

The bird’s injury was too severe to be treated so it was sadly put to sleep. A specialist avian veterinary surgeon has subsequently reviewed the x-rays, concluding:

  • The buzzard has suffered an open fracture of the left humerus (upper wing). A shotgun pellet is visible sitting in the axilla/shoulder joint.
  • There appeared to be soft tissue changes and a potential dislocation of the shoulder. No shotgun pellet is present at the fracture site, however it is possible that either
  • The shotgun pellet entered through the wing, damaging and fracturing the humerus before settling in the axilla region – it is difficult to tell without examining the bird for open wounds or changes to the feathers suggesting shot
  • The damage to the shoulder resulted in the bird injuring its wing after being unable to fly

Buzzards, along with all wild birds, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is a criminal offence to kill or injure any wild bird.  The government has set persecution of birds of prey as one of their wildlife crime action priorities.

If you have any information which could help this investigation please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting reference number: 12200064619 or alternatively contact the investigating officer PC820 Hickson by email:

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