The RSPB is appealing for information after a goshawk nest failed in suspicious circumstances at Dove Stone in the Peak District.
On 10 May, a local raptor worker discovered the freshly abandoned goshawk nest in conifer woodland in the Longendale Valley, which the RSPB co-manages with landowner United Utilities. There were three cold eggs in the nest, one of which was broken. Damaged goshawk body feathers and a spent plastic shotgun cartridge were found in the immediate vicinity.
Both Derbyshire Police and the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative were informed.
A local birdwatcher observed the female goshawk near to the nest on 8 May so it's thought that the nest failed sometime between the afternoon of 8 May and the morning of 10 May.
Goshawks have been subjected to a high level of illegal persecution in the northern Peak District where they are now teetering on the brink of extinction. In 2015, there were only three known nests in the Dark Peak, one of which successfully fledged young.
Dave O'Hara, RSPB Site Manager at Dove Stone, said: "Due to illegal persecution goshawks are really struggling in the Dark Peak so we are deeply concerned that this nest has failed in suspicious circumstances on land that we manage. We would urge anyone with information to report it to the Police immediately by calling 101."
1. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again www.rspb.org.uk.