Police in the Highlands and Islands are continuing to encourage the reporting of
deaths of birds of prey following a number of non-suspicious incidents.
Four raptor carcasses found in recent weeks have been reported to police, allowing
them to be examined by specialist vets.
Among these was a golden eagle found on Barra, a buzzard and a barn owl in Ross-shire,
and another buzzard in the Strathspey area.
Following tests it was found that all of the deaths were related to natural causes.
The Barra eagle died after coming off worse in a fight. Rival eagles will fight over
food or territory, kicking out with their deadly talons and using the sharp beaks
to rip their enemy.
Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: "I would like to thank the people who reported these
incidents for their continued awareness in bringing this to our attention.
"While there has not proved to be anything suspicious about any of these deaths,
we're grateful for the information.
"This is useful for Police Scotland and a wide variety of partners.
"We would continue to encourage anyone who finds the remains of a bird of prey and
has concerns about it to contact us so the circumstances can be assessed.
"You can contact Police Scotland on 101 to report any concerns."
Franz Brulisauer, senior veterinary investigations officer for Scotland's Rural College
said: "Understanding wild bird deaths is helpful in establishing the full picture
of the activities of birds of prey as well as monitoring the wild bird population
for avian influenza and residues of pesticides which originate from contamination
in the environment."