The duchess is reportedly practising her shooting skills ahead of the royal family's traditional Boxing Day (26Dec11) pheasant shoot at Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England.
Pictures showing her holding a shotgun have been published in the British press, and bird expert Bill Oddie has now expressed his "disappointment and despair" at seeing such a high-profile royal apparently taking up a bloodsport.
In a post on his blog, Oddie writes, "Disappointment and despair were amongst my emotions at seeing photos in the papers of Kate Middleton toting a rifle. We were informed that she is practising madly so that she can join the royal shooting parties this Christmas at Sandringham.
"She is reported to be getting quite lethal, but she won't match her husband (Prince William) who is reputed to be a real crack shot."