The Department of Conservation is disappointed after a ranger was called to pick up a falcon after it was shot from a Hawke's Bay farm.
The karearea/New Zealand falcon, a threatened bird, was seriously injured when it was retrieved from Maraekakaho, Hastings last month.
The bird was taken to a Taradale vet with a broken leg, and was later sent to Massey University to be euthanised.
Massey pathologist Stuart Hunter said the young karearea was healthy and in good condition when she was shot in the lower left leg.
"The swelling and haemorrhage that accompanied the wound indicate the bird was alive when shot," Mr Hunter said.
"This kind of fracture is very difficult to repair and euthanasia was the most humane option."
The Department of Conservation Hawke's Bay Operatoins Manager, Connie Norgate, said the death of the young bird was unnecessary.
"At no stage should people shoot these birds," Ms Norgate said.
"People should make sure they are aware of what animals they can hunt and learn to recognise them to avoid mistakenly hunting protected species."
The karearea, the country's only falcon, has an estimated population of less than 8000 birds.