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RareGolden Eagle shot in Southern Uplands


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10 replies to this topic

#1 kittykat23uk

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:50 PM

Golden Eagles are very rare in the Dumfries and Galloway area, BBC reports that one has been found shot, but alive. It has been take int care and will hopefully recover well enough to be released, but it's still "early days". Police are appealing for any information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...otland-19886345
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#2 armchair bushman

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 01:02 PM

What's the reason for shooting there in Scotland? Retaliation for predation of sheep?

#3 kittykat23uk

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:23 PM

It's mainly down to the perception that birds of prey kill game birds and livestock.
If an experience is amazing enough to be "once in a lifetime," I want to do it every year.
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#4 armchair bushman

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:21 AM

How dare those darned Eagles, those natural predators, kill something out of necessity so that I can't kill it for sport! Bastards!
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#5 pault

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:59 AM

There probably is no "reason" really ... just an excuse if he gets caught. Nutter with a gun and either a chip on his shoulder or a conspriacy theory about eagles - probably about Catholics as well, but shooting them has been a serious offence in Scotland for at least 100 years.

I remember being told by a farmer up in the far north-east that they should allow him to shoot ospreys on his farm (this is when they were critically endangered in Scotland) because he was so "cut up and emotional" over the loss of a lamb to one. If I'd seen the poor wee lamb I'd apparently want to blow the ospreys out of the air too. Regardless of the fact that an osprey probably couldn't or wouldn't take even a newborn lamb in reality, such soft-hearted and sensitive folks people probably don't belong on a farm.

I bet Rainbirder can enlighten us.
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Waiting again... for the next time again


#6 armchair bushman

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:02 AM

Ospreys killing lambs, huh. Iiiiiiiinteresting.
Golden Eagles killing lambs, yes. sure.

Unfortunately, I think livestock owners wanting to kill wildlife for killing their livestock is a worldwide condition. or just to kill it for the sake of killing it.

Several years ago (prob 2007), Simon Thomsett had a beautiful Verreaux's Eagle in his care for rehabilitation (the eagle's name was Verros). He eventually release Verros somewhere near samburu. It wasn't long before a couple of samburu morans (read "morons") came up to the eagle perched on a tree and killed it for no reason.
Having held and flown Verros myself, I was deeply disturbed by this.

#7 armchair bushman

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:26 AM

Vero's story http://simonthomsett.../tag/verreauxs/

Can't find the post where he talks about her death.

#8 Rainbirder

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:13 AM

- probably about Catholics as well, but shooting them has been a serious offence in Scotland for at least 100 years.

???? -What a bizarre statement!
Its relevance to raptor persecution in the UK is beyond me!

Raptor persecution is an UK-wide issue though eagle persecution is not an issue in England as there are essentially none left!
Large parts of upland Scotland are turned over to sheep-farming and Grouse-shooting. These areas were traditionally "managed" by widespread and ruthless killing of all raptors, large and small as well as foxes, badgers, Pine Martens and Wild Cats. Sheep farmers are less of a problem now but raptor persecution on grouse-shooting moors is still a huge issue. Large parts of the eastern Scottish Highlands are seemingly ideal eagle and Hen Harrier habitat yet these birds occur there at low density and breed poorly. Yet less than 100 miles away as the eagle flies there are areas such as the Isle of Mull (where there is no eagle persecution, indeed they are valued as a tourist attraction to the local economy) that support some of the highest densities of Golden Eagle in the World!

Grouse-shooting properties in Scotland are now mainly owned by rich foreign businessmen or syndicates comprising of rich bankers, lawyers, City traders,etc. The grouse moors are managed by gamekeepers who are often local and have been trained in their "craft" by a lengthy apprenticeship in which the hatred of "hook-beaks" has become second nature. These people are assessed by the success of the grouse shoots -the higher the bag, the better the gamekeeper! Private individuals pay big bucks to shoot Scottish grouse and the activity generates much foreign income. Stakes are high -particularly for the gamekeepers -many of whom live in homes tied to the job. If shoots are poor these guys suffer! If a shoot is poor and eagles are evident to hunting clients this doesn't go unnoticed! The fact is that the way that shooting estates are run positively encourages raptor persecution. The gamekeepers certainly do the dirty work but there are others behind them that pull the strings.
Personally I feel that shooting estates where there is proven evidence of raptor persecution should be heavily fined. The big issue is that there is no real political will for this as many of our lawmakers enjoy a good shoot or have close friends that do!

Despite the above all is not doom and gloom. Osprey numbers are soaring. Marsh Harriers have re-colonised. Buzzard numbers have exploded (I have them over my garden), Red Kite have been successfully re-introduced and are doing well. Finally, despite the dismay of the hunting fraternity White-tailed Sea Eagles have been successfully re-introduced into Scotland and are now breeding well. This bird is the third largest eagle species in the World, and yes it does occasionally take lambs but we won't lose it a second time. One of its Gaelic names is "Iolaire suil na greine" meaning the "Eagle with the sunlit eye" -it was important to our early ancestors and is perhaps now a talisman of the changing attitudes in Scotland to our native wildlife.

Disclaimer: No Catholics were harmed in the preparation of this text!

Edited by Rainbirder, 10 October 2012 - 10:18 AM.


#9 pault

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:25 AM

Thanks Rainbirder..... Yes, the estates and the mindset they breed have a lot to answer for, but many farmers certainly had their blinkers on back in the day too. My farmer was a man of Tain, where I was for a while. He was a bit low on facts but the general attitude seemed to be that way inclined. I would imagine people are better informed nowadays.

Sorry for the bizarre statement - I am carrying a health warning at the moment...... but still it's way too obscure. It simply means that I suspect a lot of raptor persecution is based on ignorant prejudices, tall stories and old wives tales. Sorry, I realise I am being quite prejudicial-sounding myself about Scotland. It's actually the closest thing I have to a home country and I am very fond of it - for better or worse. A third time and you have my blessing to ask Game Warden to give me a warning point - two even!

Why would I think of that you ask?

I was a Catholic and English boy starting an Aberdonian grammar school when the troubles were getting really fired up in Northern Ireland. I thought being English would be the difficult part, but it was a breeze by comparison. Even some of the nicer boys told me not to tell their dad I was "a fenian" or they might not let me play. It was a shock.

Note to sensible people: Protestants were not really allowed to shoot Catholics in Scotland... I was massively exaggerating the recommendations in the Church of Scotland's infamous 1923 report "the Menace of the Irish Race to Our Scottish Nationality".

So there's a kind of method in the madness... but let's drop that subject and return to the raptors! Please!

Waiting again... for the next time again


#10 Game Warden

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:41 AM

I'm looking forward to some of Rainbird's in-flight buzzard shots from his patio :)

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#11 Rainbirder

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

I'm looking forward to some of Rainbird's in-flight buzzard shots from his patio :)


To my great shame I have very few. Here is one from a few years ago when they were still a novelty:
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