Belper peregrine falcon shot

*Update: We’re sad to report this morning (6th March) that the peregrine falcon has died. This follows surgery to try and remove the second lead pellet from his shoulder.*

Derbyshire sadly continues to see some of the UK’s highest levels of bird of prey persecution. We encourage anyone with any information about this or any wildlife or suspected wildlife crime to please contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

Yesterday morning, a male peregrine falcon was spotted injured at Belper’s East Mill in Derbyshire and taken by a local resident to a vets in Ashboune where a single shotgun pellet was removed.  A second pellet will be removed later today and the bird continues to be monitored. 

East Mill is a very well-known location for breeding  peregrines – the stunning views of the birds and easy accessibility make it one of the most popular places in the UK to watch them. 

Tim Birch, Director of Nature Recovery at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said; “This is appalling news - the Belper peregrines are famous, it’s one of the best places to watch and enjoy these amazing birds as they fly at top speed, perform acrobatic aerial displays and  raise their young high on the ledges of the Mill building. They are a huge draw for people and it’s shocking that anyone wants to harm them. Thanks to the quick response by a local resident and the vets, we are hopeful that this bird will recover.”

“Derbyshire sadly continues to see some of the UK’s highest levels of bird of prey persecution. We encourage anyone with any information about this or any wildlife or suspected wildlife crime to please contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”  

The bird was about four years old and was ringed in Dorset where he was found after having fallen from a collapsed nest.  After a check over he was released and made a home in Belper.  Without the support of the male at the start of the breeding season, any attempts to nest this year could sadly fail.

peregrine falcon

(C) Terry Walmsley