A SEAGULL chick had to be put down after it was kicked by two drunken teenagers who came across the stricken bird when it was injured and unable to fly.
The cruel actions of Jordan Thomson and Ross Macleod resulted in them appearing in the dock of Tain Sheriff Court on Monday, when they were warned that custody could be a possibility.
The court heard the two boys were out last summer with a group of teenagers who came across the bird on an area of grass on Shore Street in Invergordon.
Depute fiscal Roderick Urquhart said Thomson saw the bird was unable to fly and couldn’t get away.
He ran after it and kicked it and Macleod followed him and did the same.
He said the boys had been with some girls who found the bird had a "floppy" neck after it had been kicked and one of them took it home to try and feed it.
The chick was destroyed humanely by an adult, the fiscal said.
Macleod, of Caberfeidh Drive, Invergordon and Thomson of The Rigger Bar, Alness admitted on July 28 last year on a grassed area in Shore Street intentionally or recklessly injuring the seagull by kicking the bird contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Solicitor Craig Wood said Macleod – who is now 18 and admitted previous convictions – was ashamed of what he had done.
He said Macleod had been drinking, met up with Thomson and went to the railway station to meet some girls and were on their way back to a house and passed Shore Street on the way.
The solicitor said Macleod saw his friend kick the bird and he did the same.
Mr Wood added: "I’m told the bird had been around injured for several weeks."
Solicitor Aileen Macinnes said Thomson, a first offender who is now aged 17, had also been drinking.
"It’s no credit to them that the seagull was already injured," she said.
She added that Thomson was sorry for his actions.
Sheriff David Sutherland told Thomson: "First offender or not I am going to call for reports on both of you."
Sentence was deferred until August 28 for criminal justice social work reports.