The illegal killing of a bird of prey found shot in North Yorkshire is being investigated by the police.
The female sparrowhawk was found with a broken wing and a piece of shot lodged in its body in the village of Nidd, between Knaresborough and Ripley, on Sunday.
Police said North Yorkshire had more confirmed offences against birds of prey than any other county in England.
Sergeant Kevin Kelly, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Our wonderful countryside is host to many specially-protected birds of prey.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that people think they can ignore the law and subject these birds to poisonings, shootings, nest destruction and the illegal use of spring traps without consequence.
"We will be doing everything in our power to catch these offenders, supported by our colleagues in the RSPB and the volunteers in the national parks.”
North Yorkshire Police teamed up with the RSPCA and the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks to launch Operation Owl to raise awareness of raptor crime.
Anyone with information about the sparrowhawk incident is asked to call police on 101, quoting the reference number 12180034821.