Police are investigating after a protected bird of prey was found shot dead in a tree.
A member of the public found the female goshawk in a tree in Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) woodland in the Loch Farr area of the Highlands on Saturday July 10.
The bird was recovered with help from FLS and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland.
Following a post-mortem it was established that the bird had been shot.
Police are appealing for information about the incident.
Wildlife crime officer Constable Daniel Sutherland said: “This was a cruel and callous act against a protected bird of prey which will simply not be tolerated.
“I am grateful to the member of public who came across the bird and reported it to us. Wildlife crime can be challenging to investigate and we work closely with a number of partners to investigate and bring those who seek to destroy or harm wildlife to justice.
“I am therefore appealing to anyone with information about this incident or who may have seen anything suspicious in this area to please contact police on 101, quoting reference NM/3907/21.
“Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Goshawks are large hawks almost the size of a buzzard which can be found in woodland and also in more open countryside.
Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s head of investigations, said: “It’s both depressing and worrying that in 21st century Scotland, rare and protected birds of prey are still being routinely killed.
“Goshawks are regularly targeted, even in publicly owned forests, despite their role as predators of crows and pigeons, species that some people regard as pests.”
Graeme Prest, regional manager, north, at FLS, said: “We work hard to safeguard all protected species on our land so it is extremely disappointing to find an incident such as this has taken place on land managed by FLS.
“We carry out regular monitoring of sites in this area and will continue to work with local police officers, the Highland Partnership against Wildlife Crime and RSPB to ensure that all incidents of wildlife crime are reported and investigated.”