Birds of Prey – Harris Hawk Spotted in Split

Total Croatia News

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A rather unusual discovery on the streets of Split this week for a Hvar resident and bird lover. A Harris hawk seemingly let out by its owner.

I will not deny that the TCN inbox is a fascinating and eclectic place.

An interesting contribution from a birdwatching reader this morning, and perhaps one worth paying attention to if you live in the vicinity of Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića.

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Hi Paul
Hope you are keeping well.  Is this story any use to you?  I think someone is missing a bird of prey in Split!

This morning I was in Split waiting for a colleague at the car park on Šetilište Ivana Meštrovića when I heard a cat crying and found a youngish kitten, maybe 6 months old up the big pine tree in the car park, not stuck but it seemed in distress.  Then there was a second cat calling and it’s sibling bounded across the road, followed by a bird of prey, which alighted on the lamp post where I was standing.

The cat was under the front of the car, looking at the bird, making itself as big as it could and hissing.  The bird was looking between the cat in the tree and the one on the ground.
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From the attitude of the bird it was hunting and I thought it would swoop at any moment.  The street lights were only small, probably 5 meters, and although I waved my arms and shouted, the bird just looked at me and the cats.  The second cat had rushed down the tree and was now hiding behind me as well.
The raptor was big, probably 60cm, but I could see it had what looks like leather Jesslets on both ankles.  It wasn’t bothered about me in the slightest but was VERY keen on the young cats.
The times of the photos are timed over a 5 minutes period, then it swooped down, across the car park, some grass and disappeared into trees.
Has someone in Split lost a hunting hawk?
Kindest regards.
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Dear Paul

I have had a reply from the Falcon Centre in Sibernic.  See below.

Lack of health and safety enforcement – it will be OK until a child has something the bird wants!

Kindest regards

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Hello, in Split there is a person who leaves his Harris hawk to fly free without control. Because the person is, how to say, a litlle bit strange, nobody wants to do anything about that. So, tnx for the information but it is not the first time that people call us about that bird.

Best regards


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