Tayside and Central Scotland

Large eagle owl seen on the loose in Perthshire

Eagle Owl Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The eagle owl, similar to the one pictured, has been seen around the Blair Atholl area for about a month

A large eagle owl has been spotted on the loose in Perthshire.

The bird of prey, which is much bigger than indigenous British species, has been a regular sight around Blair Atholl since before Christmas.

The owl is thought to have escaped from a falconer, as it has leather straps attached to its feet and there are no wild eagle owls in Scotland.

Eagle owls are popular among falconers and can have a wingspan of up to 6ft (1.8m) along with large talons.

They have been known to eat other birds of prey, as well as a wide range of birds and mammals.

Atholl Estate rangers warned that given the bird's size, it could even target small family pets.

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