An investigation has been launched after a protected bird of prey was blasted out of the sky with a shotgun in Fife.

A worker at Grange Farm, near Kirkcaldy, spotted the injured peregrine falcon which had plunged to the ground after being hit on July 25.

The bird was rushed to the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre for treatment after being left unable to fly as a result of her injuries.

The animal charity say the bird would have instantly fallen from the sky after being shot

X-rays of her body show pellet shot littering her body alongside a broken wing.

But after swift medical treatment from avian vets, she is recovering well with plans to release her back into the wild.

The animal charity and Police Scotland are appealing for anyone with information about the person responsible for the callous attack to get in touch.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said: “We were shocked to hear that the peregrine falcon had been shot.

“This poor bird was extremely lucky to be spotted by the farm worker, who took immediate steps to ensure the falcon’s welfare and survival.

“The shot would have knocked the bird out of the sky almost instantaneously so the incident will have happened close to the farmland the bird was found on.

The bird is expected to make a good recovery

“Thankfully, due to the expert avian vets we have at our national wildlife hospital, the falcon has a good chance at recovery and release back into the wild.

“Peregrine falcons are a Schedule One listed species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act and it is illegal to intentionally harm or kill one of these birds.

“We are working closely with Police Scotland to establish the circumstances around the bird’s injuries due to the use of a firearm in the incident.

"We would like to find out what happened to this falcon.

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Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer, Detective Constable Ben Pacholek, added: “The fact that a shotgun has apparently been used in an attempt to kill a bird of prey is of serious concern.

“This incident is sadly another example of the unacceptable persecution of raptors in Scotland.

“I strongly urge anyone within the local and wider community to come forward with details or any information about this incident which can help the ongoing investigation.”

Anyone who witnessed anything on July 25 or has any information they feel may be relevant they can contact the confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

Police Scotland can also be informed on 101, quoting incident number quoting incident number 1390 of 28 July 2021.

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