Hunt for missing Norwich owl

Has anyone seen Widget the boobook owl?

That is the desperate plea from a Norwich woman after her much- loved two-year old pet went missing from her home on Monday.

Widget the hand-reared boobook owl was last seen flying over Claire Halls' garden in Holworthy Road, Bowthorpe, at about 2pm.

Today, an upset Miss Halls, 23, said she feared Widget may have been hit by a car or eaten by a sparrowhawk.

He was last seen at about 9pm on Monday, sitting on a garage in Dereham Road.

As well as the threat from cars and predatory birds, Widget would probably only survive a week over the skies of Norwich as he would struggle to find small insects to eat as he is totally tame. In a desperate attempt to find him, Miss Halls has leafleted neighbours after she found a specially fitted tracking device had fallen off Widget.

Miss Halls believes the boobook owl may have pecked at the device as he flew away.

Most Read

However, Widget is tagged so if he is found by the RSPCA, police or an animal charity they should be able to reunite him with his frantic owner.

Miss Halls, who used to work with birds of prey, has had Widget since he was three weeks old.

Widget loves playing with Miss Halls' dog, Rascal a Patterdale terrier, and also snuggling up on her lap. He also enjoys meeting children through Miss Halls' work in child care.

Widget is also trained to fly up to 500 yards to his owner's hand.

Miss Halls said: 'I would feel devastated if anything happened to him.

'I have not spend a night away from him before. To me he is like a two-year-old baby and I just want him back home.'

Boobook owls are natural to Australia and are smaller than barn owls.

Anyone who has seen or found Widget should call Miss Halls on 01603 271722 or 0759 9134655.

Have you got an unusual pet? Contact the Evening News newsdesk on 01603 772443 or email