Warwick eagle Stan may have won his right to a wild lifestyle
A WILDLIFE expert has predicted that Stan the missing eagle from Warwick Castle should be able to survive in 2013 provided he keeps clear of overhead power lines and has a ready supply of roadkill.
Richard James, who is an adviser at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ main reserve at Sandy, in Bedfordshire, was speaking last week after the hunt for the white-tailed eagle with the six and a half foot wingspan was scaled down.
The bird went missing during an afternoon demonstration at the castle on September 6.
He was first spotted in a tree at Leamington Rugby Club and then flew off to a farm at Badby, near Daventry, where photographs were taken of him feeding on a dead sheep.
But despite castle falconers putting a ladder up to the tree where the bird of prey was perched, and trying to tempt him down with food, Stan simply flew off.
On Monday the castle’s general manager Tim Harrison-Jones said: “There haven’t been any sightings or calls about Stan in approximately four weeks or so.
“Our search hasn’t officially been called off but we are no longer actively looking because we aren’t currently sure which area Stan may be in - so we are holding fire until we receive a hot lead.”
At the RSPB’s reserve, Mr James has also not heard of any sightings of ten-year-old Stan, but said: “Remember there are eagles living free in Scotland and they have turned up in southern England from time to time so overall I’d say his chances of survival in the wild are pretty good.
“This white-tailed eagle has no natural predators out there and after nearly four months he’s obviously got used to feeding himself, perhaps taking a rabbit or even fish from a river. More likely it will be roadkill as eagles are quite lazy and will go for the easiest option. If he can find the carcass of a sheep or deer then he will feed on that.
“The one thing that could hurt him is overhead power lines. Also, in some parts of the country, such as grouse moors, the bird could face persecution from those trying to protect the game.”
Female eagles are even bigger than the males with an eight or nine foot windspan. The oldest recorded specimen lived 28 years.
At the castle Mr Harrison-Jones said falconers were still hopeful that the bird would be sighted again and urged any member of the public who spots him to call immediately. Stan certainly found a period of respite at the farm in Badby where he spent several weeks attracting attention while evading capture.
Anyone who spots the eagle is asked to contact the falconry team at Warwick Castle on 495421.
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Weather for Warwick
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 25 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: East