A shocking video showing two men climbing a tree and shooting at a bird’s nest in Strathdon estate has been released.
RSPB Scotland is offering a reward of £1,000 for information that leads to conviction of the culprits, who are seen trying to disturb a goshawk nest.
The charity and police have released the footage, captured in May last year, in a desperate attempt to identify the culprits, who were caught in the act at Glenochty, in the Cairngorms National Park.
The camera was set up to monitor a goshawk nest, but shows the group repeatedly visiting the area in what appears to be an attempt to kill the birds and destroy the nest.
The goshawk is a protected species, and only has 150 breeding pairs in Scotland, due to years of persecution.
Ian Thomson, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, urged anyone who recognised the men to come forward.
He said: “This video footage captured by our camera shows what appears to be an illegal incident involving the deliberate targeting of one of our rarest and specially protected birds of prey.
“On account of serious concerns about the impacts of illegal activity on the Scottish goshawk population, RSPB Scotland is now offering a reward of £1,000 for any information that subsequently leads to a successful conviction in this case.”
Constable Mike Whyte, wildlife crime liaison officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, said: “Police, RSPB and other organisations continuously work together in response to the illegal activities of a handful of individuals who operate outwith accepted practices.
“In this case it is in direct conflict with one of the UK wildlife crime priorities, raptor persecution, an offence which by its rural geographic location is one that is historically difficult to detect.”
Anyone with information should call 101.