A DEVASTATED bird lover is appealing for help to find his precious peregrine falcon.
Owner Stuart Hogg is desperately watching the skies after the young bird escaped from his garden in Murton.
Now is offering a £500 reward for the safe return of Cola – named because of her distinctive dark plumage.
The 28-year-old has loved birds of prey since he was eight-years-old, after his family moved to Dubai, where falconry is a popular pastime.
Stuart, who works at Caterpillar, had safely tethered Cola up in his garden when she chewed through her leash, which he says the birds can become fascinated with.
“She will be at risk, as she is only a young bird,” he said.
“She has only been flying free a few weeks. She will possibly be sitting on a roof top and could starve to death.”
Now he is hoping someone will spot Cola, who still has her jesses – a leather strap – and swivel, which prevents the leash from tangling, attached and a blue ring on each leg.
She is trained to come to a lure or to a kite carrying food, though peregrines will hunt crows and pigeons.
Stuart said: “If anyone sees her, if someone could just contact me. I can put the kite up and she will be able to see it from two to three miles away and hopefully come to it.”
Although peregrine falcons are valuable birds, Stuart says it would be impossible for anyone to steal Cola and sell her on, as they must be registered with the Government’s Animal Health department.
Anyone with information is asked to call Stuart on tel. 07815 884494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cola is a hybrid falcon, crossed with a peregrine and gyr falcon.
The peregrine is a large and powerful falcon, with long, broad, pointed wings and a relatively short tail.
Gyr falcons are the largest of the falcon species.
They breed on Arctic coasts and the islands of North America, Europe, and Asia.