Lancashire

Lancashire baby falcon back home after Edinburgh flight

Lucy the Lanner falcon
Image caption Lucy left Lancashire on Wednesday and was found days later in Edinburgh

A baby falcon which flew 170 miles (274 km) from Lancashire to Scotland has been reunited with its owner.

The Lanner falcon, called Lucy, was being exercised by owner Barry Haughton near his Cockerham home when she was attacked by crows last Wednesday.

She flew away, eventually landing in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, on Monday.

Scottish SPCA ambulance driver Mairi Stewart spotted the 15-week-old bird and she has now been reunited with her owner.

Ms Stewart was out releasing another bird when she noticed Lucy, who was wearing leather straps known as jesses.

She took the bird to nearby Dalhousie Castle Falconry in Bonnyrigg, where she was cared for by handlers until Mr Haughton was able to come and collect her.

She said: "I was amazed to see this beautiful bird of prey just sitting on the grass close by me.

Bird tracked

"He (Mr Haughton) didn't believe me when I explained I was in Edinburgh holding his bird!"

Mr Haughton, 70, said: "I was resigned to the fact that I'd never see Lucy again when out of the blue I got the call from the officer.

"When she said she was in Edinburgh I thought it must be a mistake, there's no way she could have flown that far, but sure enough it's my bird.

"I'm so glad she was found when she was. Any later and her blood sugar would have got so low that she wouldn't be able to fly and could have died."

He had fitted the bird with a tracker and followed her in the car for an hour and a half right to the sea estuary of the River Lune.

The trail went cold there and he realised she must have flown over the water.

He said: "Lucy's now experienced hunting for herself but, if I keep her at the right weight and interested in the lure, she'll associate me with food and hopefully she'll keep coming back."

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