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Escaped golden eagle still missing in border area near South Armagh

Falconer Brian McCann with Boru, his missing golden eagle
Áine Quinn

THE owners of one of Ireland's rarest birds of prey have told of their concerns after it went missing near border in South Armagh.

The two year-old bird, named Boru, was last seen on Thursday night, after it escaped during a falconry display at Castle Leslie in Glaslough, Co Monaghan.

Owner Brian McCann, of Newgrange Falconry in Drogheda, said: "Lots of people were walking up to him and taking photos. He got a fright and broke the leash that he was tethered to."

The falconer believes that the bird may still be within a "five mile radius" of Glaslough and is appealing for members of the public to keep watch and even take photos if they think they have spotted the golden eagle.

But he warned against approaching or trying to catch it.

"It would take someone who knows what they're doing doing to catch him."

"Golden eagles are massively bigger than buzzards, but people who aren't familiar with them can often mistake them for buzzards," said the former fire-fighter.

"What you're looking for with this bird is a mostly white tail with a black end, a light brown coloured neck and two large straps on its legs which will look like sticks from a distance.

"I'm a great believer in tomorrow may be the best day ever, and it may be the day we find the bird again."

In a post on Facebook, Brian's wife and business partner, Barbara Strong McCann also urged people to get in contact if they think they may have spotted the missing bird.

"Please don't try to approach him. Just phone us immediately please.We will be offering a large reward for helping with his return," she said.

Any sightings should be reported to Brian on 0035386 8866738 or via the Newgrange Falconry facebook page.

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