A falconer called for help after his bird of prey flew away when he should have hunted pigeons in Barking.
Merlin, a six-year-old Harris’s Hawk, had just been sent to the skies around Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in North Street yesterday (August 5) when he changed direction and rushed to the elementary school of Northbury.
Falconer Gary Bartlett kept a watchful eye on the rogue raptor for two hours, trying to entice Merlin with food.
But the hawk had none of that, gliding further through the train tracks to Fanshawe Avenue and Barking Park.
Gary thinks his feathered friend may have been scared off by the wind, which prompted him to run away.
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This is the first time that Merlin has failed to return to his Kentish masters who guard four Harris hawks as well as a peregrine falcon to control pigeon and gull numbers at various locations in the South East. England.
“They’re birds of prey, so they have their own minds, but it’s very unusual to fly away like that. They fly away, but normally they sit on someone’s roof and we go to them. look. But he’s gone. âGary explained.
Merlin installed a radio transmitter, but the signal dropped, meaning Gary was unable to follow his movements.
However, Gary believes the hawk will not have wandered too far from the Gurdwara and, with the sunny afternoon weather, could emerge from the shelter of the recent rain in a tree.
One thing that is not a concern is whether Merlin will be hungry or not.
“He’s more than capable of looking after himself. But he hasn’t visited this area much. It’s hard to say, but I’d say it’s more than likely he’s still local.” Gary said.
He stressed that Merlin poses no risk to the public, but urged anyone who saw the feathered fugitive not to pick it up.
âIf he’s scared he might try to go wild,â Gary said.
Anyone who has seen Merlin, please call Gary on 07720 892704.