For a change, London is NOT the centre of gun crime... as far as Birds of Prey [BoP] are concerned.
Our magnificent falcons and hawks can continue to visit, safe in the knowledge that they're unlikely to become victims of prejudice.
The RSPB's 20th annual Birdcrime report recorded 384 cases of persecution in 2009, the second worst year for birds of prey; only 2007 was worse with 389 cases.
This doesn't include attacks on swans or the trapping of finches. This is about the killing of birds of prey. It's recorded not by county, but by Police area. In a league table of Constabularies in England, North Yorkshire, West Mercia, Northumbria and Cumbria came tops.
The Metropolitan Police area didn't escape incident. There was one reported case of a hobby being shot dead in north-west London. It had been monitored by one of our Local Groups. They didn't see who fired the shot, but had been in talks with the Police about a number of individuals who had been shooting nearby with the landowners agreement, despite being made aware of the birds' presence.
This year, the hobbies returned to the nest site and our Local Group arranged for the chicks, pictured to the right, to be fitted with identification rings as part of a drive to protect them. They're not the most glamorous of creatures - looking more like feathery reptiles. This amazing photo was taken by Alan Harris, a licensed bird handler, allowed to access nests.
The RSPB is also a member of the London Peregrine Working Group. We ringed some of this year's young and work with the Metropolitan Police to protect nest sites, especially around the breeding period.
Hobbies are not normally found in urban spaces so these London birds are unusual. It's unlikely they've set-up home in London because it's safer for them, the most likely reason is that they've been driven here by our changing rural environment.
If you'd like to help us protect our environment, campaign for climate justice, oppose fuel poverty and seek energy security, then you can join our Big Climate Connection in early November. With a new Government in place, now is the perfect time to lobby new and exisiting MPs.
If you want a more DIY approach to supporting wildlife while improving your own environment, visit our Homes for Wildlife pages for simple, low-cost ideas.