The body of a red kite found in the Durham Hill Lane area of Kirkpatrick Durham was poisoned according to a post mortem.
Police Scotland’s Wildlife Crime unit have launched an investigation into the incident, which is ongoing.
PC Alan Steel, a specialist wildlife crime officer, said: “Due to the inherent scavenging nature of red kites, they are particularly vulnerable to the illegal use of poisonous bait.
“Red kites are legally protected and Police Scotland works closely with partner agencies, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”
RSPB Scotland’s head of investigations Ian Thomson said the illegal and indiscriminate use of poison can also harm pets and people.
“Numbers of detected cases of illegal poisoning of our birds of prey have, thankfully, been very low in recent years, so this case is of serious concern,” he added.
“The Galloway Red Kite trail, just a few miles from where this bird was killed, is a popular tourist attraction and of great benefit to the local economy.”