One of city's three eagle owls on the loose has been caught

Buddy, the escaped Eurasian eagle owl has been captured. 

Buddy, the escaped Eurasian eagle owl, has been captured. - Credit: Dean Brandish

A trio of giant Eurasian eagle owls which have been swooping through the skies of Norwich are a member down after one of their gang was caught. 

Buddy, an owl who escaped from the Riverside area in September 2021, was found and captured by his owner near the old Colman's factory on March 23. 

However, the news could bode well for Alfie the owl, who got out of his enclosure in Lakenham in 2020. 

That's because the third and final owl which escaped is Luna - a female owl currently at large and in the midst of mating season.

Alfie's rival is out of the way and back home with handler Dean Brandish, who lives in Loddon and lost both Buddy and Luna during a house move from the city centre.

Buddy's nest was found in one of the Colman's factories in Riverside.

Buddy's nest was found in one of the Colman's factories in Riverside. - Credit: Dean Brandish

Sightings of the famous Alfie have been flooding in over the past few months, though Dean is convinced many of the sightings were in fact Buddy.  

And it was one tip-off in the Riverside area which saw Dean manage to coax Buddy from his nest with some food.

Dean said: “He eventually flew to me when I had food, it just took a couple of hours for him to get his confidence up.

Buddy came down from his nest to eat the food that Dean had brought for him. 

Buddy came down from his nest to eat the food that Dean had brought for him. - Credit: Dean Brandish

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“I’ve looked at most of the photos of him around the city and I can tell that it is not Alfie by the facial markings.  

“Eagle owls are also very territorial so it would be unlikely to have two males in the same area.”

But he added he is sceptical about ever getting Luna back, saying: “I do not believe Luna will be found. 

"I don’t think she would be in an area near people as she is not very tame.

“Buddy was raised by me from just a few weeks old and was handled daily so sees people as a source of food.” 

Dean said he's pleased to have his pet back, adding he is settling in well.

He said: “We are flying him daily and he is enjoying being handled. 

“He is acting as though he never left.” 

Meanwhile Alfie's owner, Peter Murphy, is still holding out hope that Buddy will be found.  

He said: “Alfie is still in the same area - he was been seen before Buddy was.”