A GIANT European Eagle Owl has escaped from a home in St Helens and could be winging your way!

The intimidating-looking bird of prey, which was being kept as a pet at a house on Burnage Avenue, Clock Face, was reported missing to St Helens police last week.

The largest breed of owl in the world, the European Eagle Owl is typically around three-feet tall and has a wingspan more than a metre wide.

A protected species, it has distinctive brown, grey and white markings, with large ear tufts, yellow or orange eyes and a black beak and talons.

Found in Northern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, it can make nests in a variety of habitats, but usually uses a rock ledge or cave as a base.

At night, the European Eagle Owl is active, flying swiftly and noiselessly while scanning the ground for prey. It will eat insects, small birds, small reptiles, fish, and small mammals.

Most often, European Eagle Owls prey on animals smaller than rabbits, but they can kill prey the size of foxes and have been known to attack other birds of prey.

The birds, which are rare, but are not in danger of extinction, can growl or even bark if they feel threatened.

  • If you've spotted a giant European Eagle Owl swooping near you, please contact your local police station.