Young peregrine falcon shot down on one of its first flights

A peregrine falcon. Picture: Richard Mills

A young peregrine falcon has been shot down in Co Wexford.

The bird - which was on one of its first flights - was shot with a shotgun at Ballynastraw near Enniscorthy. It had to be put down as a result of its injuries.

An X-ray has confirmed the falcon was shot with shotgun pellets in its wing and leg. An identification ring placed on the bird’s leg in June of this year showed that it was a young bird on one of its first flights.

The Parks and Wildlife Service is appealing for the public's help as the bird is a protected species, and shooting them is a criminal offence.

Dominic Berridge from the Service said: "There seems to have been an increase in the deliberate killing of peregrines in recent years with several unexplained nest failures in the south-east. The finding of this bird is not an isolated incident.

"There have been attempts to poison and shoot birds at a number of nests…If people see anything suspicious like a tethered pigeons or a trap, NPWS staff should be called."

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, added: "It is intolerable for protected birds of prey to be persecuted, poisoned or shot.

"Not only is this activity illegal and barbaric, it also harms our reputation as a country that values its wildlife. I would urge anyone to report such incidents to the National Parks and Wildlife Service in my Department."

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