Has anyone lost a rare Harris Hawk?

    WINGING IT Sioux Gijsen's photo of the Harris hawk

    A KEEN photographer captured a picture of a large bird of prey that is rarely seen flying free in Britain while she was out walking in the Shipbourne Road area of Tonbridge recently.

    Tourist Sioux Gijzen, a live-in carer from South Africa who is visiting the town, was surprised when the Harris hawk landed close by and stayed still long enough for her to get out a camera to get a shot before it flew away again.

    Sioux is now wondering where the bird came from as they are usually found in the United States, Chile and central Argentina. Some have been sighted in Britain but bird experts say these are likely to be escapees from a falconry.

    Harris hawks are medium to large birds of prey with dark brown and chestnut plumage and a white-tipped tail. Their natural habitats are semi-desert areas, woodlands, marshlands and mangroves.

    Sioux said: “The bird was wearing anklets and short trusses so it may belong to someone in the area.”