Gamekeeper rescues bird of prey

Glenogil Estate keeper Danny Lawson has successfully aided in the recovery of an injured red kite, and vets are confident the bird will fly again.


As you can see, the kite was suspended high in the tree. Lawson managed to free the bird by shooting away the branch trapping its wing. Credit: Angus Glens Moorland Group

Last month, Lawson released the raptor after it was left hanging upside down in a tree caught on a piece of string. Lawson had been informed by estate staff of the suspended bird and managed to free it by shooting at the offending branch, leaving the bird unharmed. He then untangled the injured wing and delivered the kite safely to the Thrums Veterinary Group in Kirriemuir. A fortnight of care later, vets claim the badly injured bird is recovering well and will fly again.

The raptor had skin-deep cuts and abrasions, and several missing feathers when it was admitted.

The raptor had skin-deep cuts and abrasions, and several missing feathers when it was admitted.

Gamekeeper Lawson said: “I received a call from the estate office to say there was a big bird that seemed to be stuck in a tree. When I arrived, I could see it was a kite and it was in a lot of distress because it was hanging by its wing from a branch. The only way to free the kite was to shoot further along the branch, which I managed to do, and the bird fluttered down, unharmed. It was alive but had blood on it and a few feathers missing from struggling. I am not a vet but I dont think it would have survived long hanging upside down so I knew it was the right thing to do. I got it to the vet’s as quickly as I could. Thankfully it is recovering now.”

Screenshot 2015-06-03 11.27.27

Recovering well: it is hoped the bird will fly again. Credit: Thrums Veterinary Group

Director Chris Aitken of Thrums Veterinary Group is optimistic: “When the bird was brought in, it was thin and had broken skin wounds. It was x-rayed for breaks but the wounds were healing when we handed it over to be collected. It was in a good condition and was back perching and feeding and we are hopeful it will fly again.”

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15 comments on “Gamekeeper rescues bird of prey
  1. Mike Groves says:

    Great piece of highly skilful rescue work Danny. Also well done to the person who initially noticed the injured Red Kite in the tree and personnel of Thrums Veterinary Group who treated the bird. A great all round team effort.

  2. Anon says:

    trying to keep the RSPB off your back are we? Everyone can see right through this

  3. ray cross says:

    HI DANNY. well done on this subject you did a great job and i hope that the R S P B AND THE R S P C A do take notice of this as all they seem to do is to make game keepers scape goats for there abuse of all countrymen who do care about the enviroment that we all live and work in all i can see and say is shame on them all i have lost all faith in the both of them just bigots they are.well done again to you and your estate and last but not least the vets that took care of the kite. regards ray owlman.

  4. Danny,

    On behalf of RSPB Scotland, and as a person who has been involved in red kite reintroduction to Scotland for 25 years, I would like to commend your efforts to rescue this red kite from a difficult situation. If you can let me have your contact details, I will do this in person.

    All the best

    Duncan Orr-Ewing

    • Doug McAdam says:

      Good to see RSPB Scotland acknowledging this Duncan. As I keep saying, more can be achieved if we work together to common objectives and leave those that seek to divide and their agendas behind. See you Monday!

  5. Stewart Abbott says:

    This is a kind and caring act, I just hope it is genuine. Gamekeepers in general get a lot of bad press and for good reason, in this case I applaud you for helping this raptor.

  6. Craig Nash says:

    It is always the anonymous people who comment like this. So boring. Here is an example of a gamekeeper doing something right and yet he he will still be criticised. Well done is what I say and thumbs up to Duncan Orr-Ewing for saying so as well.

  7. Keith Cowieson says:

    Well done that man! Just as well that Mr Lawson, with the requisite field skills to know what he was dealing with, was on hand to utilise his further skills with a firearm, to rescue this Schedule 1, red-listed species.

    And how pathetic that ‘Anon’ – in typical anonymous trolling fashion – can find nothing in this heart-warming story to commend. No doubt he would have been happy to jump on any ‘one-of-our-red-kites-is missing’ bandwagon had the Glenogil team not taken prompt and decisive action to save the bird.

  8. I love this story. Well done, gamekeeper Lawson. This is a good example of a gamekeeper obeying the law, and showing good sense, and care for our stunning, protected wildlife. I’m sure there are many others who would have done the same. You are a credit to your estate.

  9. James Rennie says:

    Good to see us in the profession being seen in a positive light for once.

  10. Scott says:

    Excellent work.

    Very brave to put himself at risk of potentially very very bad publicity. Would have looked terrible if someone had been filming or taking photographs, seeing a gun raise, shot fired and a kite falling from the tree.

  11. Ian Warrington says:

    Ignore the cynics.
    Fantastic job Danny.

    Looking down each others telescope, recognising areas of potential conflict and compromising, is the only way forward.

  12. Mike Holliday says:

    Well done Danny, a lot of good comments and rightly so and people willing to put there names to them all bar one. But I suppose if I was Another Noxious Objectionable Numpty I would only use my initials.
    Cheers Mike

  13. David Mitchell says:

    Pity some of you raptor friendly gamekeepers and the like don,t check out the raptor killing and poisoning on this estate.your comments are pathetic.

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