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Hunt for Shiva the missing goshawk near Bishop's Stortford

The owner of a goshawk that went missing near Bishop's Stortford is appealing to members of the public to keep a lookout for her.

Shiva, a 16-month-old grey goshawk named after the Hindu god, gave owner Lee Rush the slip at about 5.30pm on Thursday (Sept 23) at his workplace on the Stansted Distribution Centre estate at Start Hill, across the M11 junction 8 roundabout from Stortford.

Lee lives in a hamlet near Great Dunmow and often takes Shiva to work with him, where she happily sits on a perch through the day.

Shiva the missing goshawk (51563214)
Shiva the missing goshawk (51563214)

He uses her for hawking – the season started on September 1 and runs until February, though Lee doesn't start himself until October 1 and had only picked her up last weekend after she had spent the summer breeding.

He had just fed Shiva – her favourite is quail – when she slipped away from him. Lee was out until dark and then out again at first light on Friday morning standing watch for signs of her.

She will not have flown far and is highly likely to be within half a mile of her perch, a radius which includes the Esso petrol station off the B1256.

Goshawks are known as "the ghost of the forest", said Lee – "they see you but you don't see them" – and said that tell-tale signs of her presence would be the reaction of other birds such as crows, magpies and blackbirds.

Lee has kept goshawks for almost 25 years and Shiva is his third bird, although he has also looked after rescue goshawks.

If you spot Shiva within a half-mile radius of the Stansted Distribution Centre at Start Hill, call Lee on 07736 234410.

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