POLICE are investigating after a bird of prey was found poisoned.

North Yorkshire Police say a red kite was found poisoned in woodland near the A64 between Scampston and Rillington in Ryedale.

The female bird was found in April by the roadside bleeding from the mouth and was taken to local wildlife expert Jean Thorpe, who lives in Norton.

However, despite everyone's best efforts the Red Kite died overnight.

Jean said: "The Covid-19 lockdown prevented the carcass from being picked up by the The Wildlife Incident Unit (WIIS) delaying the now known outcome.

"The recent result shows that the bird was poisoned with a mix of brodifacoum and bendiocarb in quantities that would not be consistent with an accidental incident.

"Toxicology testing takes time and I'm forever grateful to WIIS for providing this expert service proving yet again that our protected birds of prey are targeted deliberately.

"It makes me so angry and sad that this is an ongoing serious problem in Ryedale and North Yorkshire.

"If anyone knows anything or sees anything like rabbit or bird carcasses laid out or finds dead birds of prey, then do get in touch with the police and report, report, report."

A spokesman for NorthYorkshire Police said: "Brodifacoum is the main ingredient in rat poison but the analysis revealed that there was no way the bird could have accidentally ingested the substance and as such it was clear the bird had been deliberately targeted.

"If you have any information in relation to the illegal use of pesticides in this area or any other information about bird of prey persecution then please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting ref 12200055801."