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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 17:53 GMT
Police uncover osprey eggs
Osprey chick
There are about 140 pairs of ospreys in Scotland
Osprey eggs thought to have been taken from a Scottish nest almost two years ago have been seized by police.

They were found after West Midlands Police, assisted by officers from Tayside Police, raided a house in Coventry.

A number of dead birds - either stuffed or frozen - were also seized.

A 41-year-old man is helping police with their inquiries.


We are concerned about the finding of eggs and corpses of such rare birds

Guy Shorrock
RSPB
The search was part of Operation Easter, a nationwide crackdown co-ordinated by Tayside Police.

There are an estimated 140 pairs of ospreys in Scotland.

Around 100 egg clutches have been taken from the Scottish population since the bird was re-colonised in the 1950s.

It is believed that the eggs found in the house in Willenhall, Coventry, were taken from a Perthshire nest in May or June 2000.

Tayside Police said that the other birds found included rare breeding birds such as the chough and stone curlew.

Highly prized

Guy Shorrock of the RSPB, who assisted with the investigation, said: "We are concerned about the finding of eggs and corpses of such rare birds.

"We will be assisting the police to try to find out if any of the dead birds were illegally taken."

Eggs of rare birds found in Scotland, such as the white-tailed sea eagle, golden eagle, chough, osprey and Slavonian grebe, are highly prized by collectors.

Alan Stewart, Tayside Police wildlife and environment officer, said officers were still awaiting moves to bring wildlife crime legislation up to the standard of the laws found in England and Wales.

See also:

23 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
Rare osprey photo call
03 Sep 99 | UK
Ospreys return to England
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