A buzzard found with five shotgun pellets in its body could not be saved by vets.
The bird of prey, found on Brownmoor Lane in Huby, Easingwold on Friday February 14, could not survive its injuries and had to be put down.
One of the shotgun pellets had shattered the bird’s wing.
PC Clare Mayes of Thirsk and Easingwold Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “It is always sad when a bird of prey sustains such injuries and it is important that we establish how this buzzard was shot.
“I am appealing to anyone who saw people shooting in the area on February 14 to get in touch.
“I would also appeal to anyone who may have been out shooting on that day to come forward as it may be the case that they have accidentally shot the buzzard while shooting other wildlife.”
Anyone who can help officers with their enquiries can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for PC Mayes, quoting reference number 12140024639, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternately, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.