On the afternoon of Saturday 11 March, a dead red kite was found near Greenhow, in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.
An examination revealed the bird’s carcass contained what is believed to be lead shot.
PC David Mackay, a Wildlife Crime Officer of North Yorkshire Police Rural Taskforce, said: “It has taken many years to re-introduce red kites after their near-extinction from the UK, and these magnificent birds can now regularly be seen in the skies over North Yorkshire.
“They are a Schedule 1 bird and have special legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. They feed on carrion and pose no threat to game birds, farmed animals or pets.
“I would ask anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation to get in touch with me.”
North Yorkshire Police are being supported in the investigation by Yorkshire Red Kites.
Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for PC 1452 David Mackay, or email. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote reference number 12170047155 when passing information.