Hunt for missing goshawk spreads across Edinburgh and Midlothian

Residents in Edinburgh and Midlothian have been warned not to attempt to catch a bird of prey that has been missing for the last three days.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:30 pm

The 10-year-old goshawk, called Bella, was last seen in the Danderhall area late on Sunday evening.

The bird’s owner said she did not return to his glove after she was spooked by the sound of a loud bang in the distance while chasing a rabbit.

She has not been seen since.

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Goshawks have bright red eyes and a distinctive white eyebrow.

Females of the species can grow to around 60cm in length and develop a wingspan of up to 127cm.

In an appeal on social media, Barry Shaw, a local falconer who knows Bella, urged members of the public: “Do not try and catch this bird”.

Instead, anyone who spots her should call her owner on 0131 4403263.

The 10-year-old goshawk, called Bella, was last seen in the Danderhall area late on Sunday evening. (Credit: Barry Shaw)

While Bella has a GPS tracker, its battery is flat - making it almost impossible to trace her movements.

Now the search for the raptor has spread across Edinburgh, Musselburgh and the rest of Midlothian.

Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, Barry explained how Bella could be anywhere inside a 20 mile radius around Danderhall, and said local farms have been contacted to keep a lookout.

Despite that, Barry has a feeling she will stay close to home.

“I reckon she is still in that area,” he said, “because there is a lot of rabbits and pheasants around there for her to feed on.”

Commenting on the search for Bella, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Nobody should try and search for the bird of prey to capture it apart from the falconer.

“The falconer will have specialist knowledge and will be able to keep themselves safe while trying to catch the bird,” he explained.

“We are asking that people be extra careful with the animals in their care.

“Should an animal become lost then there are limited agencies that will be able to assist with a search.”

He added: “Unfortunately, the Scottish SPCA does not have the manpower or resources to help look for missing animals.”

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