Recent reports in some newspapers regarding the death of a young Peregrine Falcon have caused concern here on Tiree.
A visitor to the Island, staying with relatives, found the bird dead at the foot of an electrical pole in their garden and called John Bowler, the RSPB Officer, who, as Peregrine Falcons are protected informed the Tiree Constable, Steven Tanner. The body of the bird was sent to a Veterinary Pathologist in Edinburgh to determine the exact cause of death and as sometimes happens before the facts are known, rumours started that the bird had been shot, possibly with a hand gun.
The Post Mortem found that the Falcon had suffered “superficial trauma to the right side of its head and blunt trauma to its body – actual cause of death was a ruptured liver”. It appears that the youngster had flown into the pole, banging its head and the consequential fall to the ground caused the fatal injury. This had nothing to do with a shooting and unfortunately it is not unusual for young Peregrines to meet their death in this manner as they learn to fly and hunt for themselves.
There was no evidence of the bird being shot but a full toxicology report is being carried out. Unlawful killing of a Peregrine Falcon carries a fine of up to £40.000 and up to 6 months in prison.