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, 29 December 2015

15 birds of prey killed in Northern Ireland last year

By Conor Macauley
BBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent

26 November 2015

Fifteen birds of prey were killed in Northern Ireland last year, according to a new report from the RSPB.

Almost half of the cases were caused by poisoning.

Buzzards, red kites and a peregrine falcon were amongst the birds targeted. The worst area was in County Down, where seven birds were found dead.

The charity says that is "very concerning" as it is where it is trying to reintroduce the red kite.

At present there are 12 breeding pairs - well short of the 50 pairs needed for a sustainable population.

The project suffered a blow in 2014 when a member of the public contacted the charity about a possible poisoning incident.

A nest, near Katesbridge, was found to contain a dead female and two dead chicks.

"The problem is a constant battle and will only be won through raising awareness and concerted efforts to identify and penalise the minority of people who threaten these birds' very existence," said Michelle Hill, senior conservation officer with RSPBNI.

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