A man allegedly seen throwing stones at a sparrowhawk in Kirkcaldy’s Ravenscraig Park has been charged under the Wildlife and Countryside Act with attempting to kill the bird.
Sparrowhawks are one of the most commonly observed birds of prey in Scotland and are protected under the act.
“They are majestic birds which are found in wooded areas along with hedgerows, parks and gardens,” said PC Lindsay Kerr, Fife’s wildlife and environmental crime co-ordinator.
“Often people will attribute declines in small bird populations to predators such as the sparrowhawk. However it is important to remember that the predator/prey relationship is a natural and self-regulating system. Sparrowhawks generally feed on weaker birds that are unlikely to survive otherwise, and therefore are unlikely to greatly reduce small bird populations
“On this occasion members of the public were bird watching in Ravenscraig Park, Kirkcaldy, when they witnessed a male repeatedly throwing stones at a sparrowhawk.
“The bird had just swooped on its own prey when the male began throwing stones at it. The members of the public were so concerned for the welfare of the sparrowhawk and how aggressive the male was that they contacted the police.
“Luckily the Sparrowhawk was uninjured. The police commenced an enquiry which quickly identified the male who was formally charged under the Wildlife & Countryside Act for his reckless behaviour.”