Giant bird spotted in skies above Bridge End, Great Bardfield and Stebbing - could it be missing Moscato the Bateleur eagle?

PUBLISHED: 18:31 11 August 2020

The lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire

The lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire

The International Centre for Birds of Prey

The bird could be an eagle called Moscato - and a birds of prey centre is asking for your help.

The lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in GloucestershireThe lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire

A large bird has been spotted above Bridge End, Bardfield, and in Stebbing.

The International Centre for Birds of Prey, a charity and zoo dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey in Gloucestershire, think it could be their lost Bateleur eagle called Moscato.

She was taking part in a flying demonstration when she was mobbed by wild buzzards and forced away from the centre on August 1.

She was tracked from location to location until her telemetry was found on the ground, possibly having fallen off after another mobbing from wild birds.

The lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in GloucestershireThe lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire

She was seen in Gloucestershire before sightings in Surrey and Essex led staff to an attempted retrieval in the Braintree area on Friday (August 7).

Unfortunately, Moscato found a thermal and staff were unable to safely retrieve her. She is likely to still be in Essex but is capable of covering a large distance.

Centre staff are trying to retrieve her and are asking the public to help with information, possible sightings or photographic evidence.

Moscato is roughly 70cm tall with a 6-foot wingspan. She has a very short tail, and has leather anklets and flying jesses.

The lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in GloucestershireThe lost Bateleur Eagle called Moscato which may be the large bird spotted in Essex. Picture: The International Centre for Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire

Her wings are much sharper and pointed in appearance than compared to a buzzard’s wings.

Bateleur eagles have a black body with a yellow and orange or red face. They have relatively small feet, a brown back and black, white and grey barred wings. The underside of their wings is white.

Holly Cale, curator at ICBP, said: “Moscato is not a danger to the public or animals.

“She came to the centre 20 years ago after being sized from a wildlife trafficking operation and has spent her time in breeding and public education programmes ever since.”

The public are asked not to approach her as this could force her to move on.

Contact 01531 820286 or email info@icbp.org or message the birds of prey centre on social media.

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