Investigation after York Minster peregrine falcon found blind and suffering in city garden
An investigation has been launched after one of the York Minster peregrine falcons was found suffering in a city garden.
The female bird of prey was discovered unable to fly at the property on Vicarage Gardens in Osbaldwick, about 2.5 miles from the cathedral.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Claire Mitchell collected the bird after being contacted by a member of the public.
It was initially thought that the bird of prey – who had been ringed on both legs – may have flown into a window.
The falcon was taken to a nearby vet where it was confirmed that, although the bird had not broken either wing, she was suffering and in extremely poor health.
She was also blind in one eye and had very limited vision in the other. The vet concluded it was the kindest course of action to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering.
Thought to have been around three and a half years old, she’d been ringed by Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation after hatching at York Minster in 2019, one of several peregrine falcons to have made the cathedral their home over recent years.
Claire said: “It was a very sad sight to see such a magnificent bird of prey in such a poor state, but we’d like to thank the kind person who contacted us so we were able to seek veterinary attention for her as if she was left, she would have suffered a lingering death.
“In order to help establish why she may have been in such poor condition, her body has been sent off for testing, which will hopefully enable us to get a clearer picture and rule out other possible causes, including poisoning.”
If you see a bird of prey you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and it is an offence to kill, injure or take wild birds except under licence. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.