A police investigation is ongoing following a report of a trapped buzzard near Moy, south of Inverness.
The buzzard was discovered by a member of the public earlier in October.
However, following a subsequent search of the area by police the bird has not been located.
The trap was close to a fence near to a rough, marshy grazing area close to the B9154 and the national cycle path between Moy and Craggie.
Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: “This unfortunately appears to be an example of deliberate unlawful use of a legal trap to cause suffering to a bird of prey.
“A lot of good work has been done in the Highlands and this has been a good season for raptors locally, so any evidence of continued persecution is disappointing.
“The location next to the national cycle network path will hopefully help us identify anyone seen acting in a suspicious manner in the area.
“Anyone seen near the fence lines, walking up the fence lines or placing articles on the fence posts would be of great interest to us.
“We are appealing for anybody who has information about this incident or any other wildlife persecution in the Highland area contact us on 101.”