Published: 08/08/2014 11:00 - Updated: 08/08/2014 10:28

Artwork dedicated to Ross-shire poisoned red kites

Janice Duke with her red kite creation.
Janice Duke with her red kite creation.

AN artist who works as a volunteer for RSPB Scotland has created a special artwork to commemorate the 16 red kites and six buzzards killed in a major poisoning incident in Ross-shire earlier this year.

Janice Duke, who volunteers at the RSPB’s Forsinard Flows nature reserve in Sutherland, said: “Red kites are beautiful and distinctive birds of prey, which I particularly enjoy watching in action.

“There’s something about the way they move, it’s so elegant and powerful. It moves me.

“As the death toll rose in Ross-shire earlier this year in,  what was a particularly disturbing incidence of persecution, I was appalled. Each bird killed was as innocent as a child to me – a wild little brother or sister lost to us all.”

Janice has had 20 A3 limited edition archive quality prints produced which she hopes to sell for £85 per copy.

“I’ll donate all the profits from the sale to the RSPB, whose investigation and species protection work may help prevent future incidents and help bring any who were involved in this or other wildlife persecution to justice,” she said.

“Its education work teaches current and future generations to view our wildlife with due respect and care.”

Janice can be contacted by email at Janice.duke@hotmail.co.uk or through the RSPB on 01463 715000.

The charity says that despite the loss of kites in Ross-shire, the birds have expanded their range into Sutherland.

Red kite officer Brian Etheridge said: “We found our first red kite nests in Sutherland last year and I can confirm that we have had three breeding pairs this year.

“They are located in the area between Dornoch and Bonar Bridge. This is really good news and shows the birds are capable of doing very well if they are not persecuted.”

He added: “I would be very interested in any other records of red kites breeding in Sutherland. People can drop me an email on brian.etheridge@rspb.org.uk or call the office on 01463 715000.”

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