The Department of Conservation (DOC) is appealing for any information about the death of a harrier hawk, or kāhu, in Wairoa this week.
The bird - which has partial legal protection - was found dead and extremely underweight with tethers attached to its legs.
DOC said the bird suffered a slow miserable death and appealed for information over the incident.
DOC East Coast operations manager John Lucas appeared someone had attempted to tame the bird for falconry.
He says it may have escaped and been unable to feed.
"It is never okay to treat a wild bird badly in order to domesticate it," he said.
The bird has been sent to Wildbase Hospital for a necropsy and further analysis.
The carcass has now been sent to the wildlife hospital, Wildbase, in Palmerston North for further analysis.
Anyone who has any information about the hawk should contact 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).