As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Man admits to illegally trading rare bird eggs after major RSPB investigation


THE admitted charges related to eggs of a number of protected or threatened species, including the peregrine falcon, Egyptian Vulture and lesser kestrel.

A MAN has admitted keeping and illegally trading the eggs of some of Europe's rarest birds.
Keith Liddell, 53, of Inverness, admitted a total of 13 charges when he appeared at the city's sheriff court today. He will be sentenced next month.

RSPB Scotland, which confirmed details of the hearing, said the case followed one of the biggest egg trading investigations the charity has been involved in.

Eleven of the admitted charges related to the trading in, or offers to trade in, eggs of a number of protected or threatened species, including the peregrine falcon, Egyptian Vulture and lesser kestrel.

Liddell also pleaded guilty to two other charges of unlawfully possessing a total of 338 eggs, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

They included a number of Scottish rare breeding birds, such as the Slavonian grebe, black-throated diver and osprey.

The development followed an investigation which began in 2009 when a County Durham man was convicted of similar offences, RSPB Scotland said.

After examining emails and other material from that case, police and the RSPB discovered a network of individuals involved in trading birds eggs over the internet, as far afield as the US and Scandinavia.

Liddell's activities came to light during the investigation and his home was searched by police.

Ian Thomson, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, said: "This is among the biggest egg trading investigations that RSPB has ever been involved with.

"The illegal and outdated practice of egg collecting can have a devastating impact on the future population of vulnerable or slow breeding species, such as birds of prey and divers."
Liddell will return to court for sentencing on April 9.

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