A Peregrine Falcon was found dead near a popular walking spot in North Yorkshire.
The female bird’s body was spotted by a member of the public beside a footpath at Hebden Ghyll in Craven on Wednesday.
Wildlife crime officer PC Simon Crossley later recovered a bird with apparent gunshot wounds to one of its wings.
The bird appeared in very good condition, despite its injuries.
North Yorkshire Police today said: “The bird has been examined by a local vet and X-rays have confirmed the presence of shotgun pellets which have caused major trauma.
“These injuries would have caused the death of the bird.”
Peregrine Falcons are protected under Section 1 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Officers are now appealing for information as they seek the person or people responsible.
Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police via 101 and quote crime reference number 12160181442