Steller’s Sea Eagle found 60 miles away in Lancashire


The giant Steller’s Sea Eagle which was lost in the Yorkshire Dales six days ago has been found safe and well.

Nikita the female eagle, who has an 8ft (2.4m) wingspan, went missing on 25 January from her home at the falconry centre in Settle north Yorkshire.

Owner and trainer Chris O’Donnell said Nikita was eventually traced using a radio tracking transmitter to the town of Poulton-le-Fylde, only 6 miles from the Lancashire coastal town of Blackpool, after what he described as an “epic” journey. What is very interesting the Steller’s seas eagle must have crossed the Forest of Bowland flying the 60 miles in a straight line across grouse moors to where she was eventually located.

Mr O’Donnell stated Nikita was a bit dirty but was otherwise unharmed, and was now back in her normal enclosure.

  • The Steller’s sea eagle is one of the largest species of birds of prey
  • Native to eastern Russia
  • Mostly feed on salmon
  • Some stay in Russia all year round but others fly to Japan for winter

“Nikita is happy, healthy and has had a really good feed, and I am sure she will be much happier waking up in her own environment,” Mr O’Donnell said.

Since the eagle’s disappearance during a training exercise, there had been numerous sightings of her in both Yorkshire and Lancashire. Mr O’Donnell said he had never tracked a bird as far.

“We have had so much help but it has been an amazing journey and we are completely exhausted from days of running around after her from morning to dusk.”

North Yorkshire Police had warned people to keep their pets indoors until she had been found, but Mr O’Donnell, of Hawk Experience Ltd, said she posed no danger to people or animals.

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