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A BIRD of prey specialist is growing concerned at the number of birds getting lost.

Nigel King, 45, from the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy, in Barleylands Road, Bilericay, has revealed the centre has already recovered nine lost birds this year, including falcons and hawks, due to careless owners.

His call comes just a day after a Steppe eagle had to be recaptured in Stanley Road, Southend, after it was believed to have escaped during a training exercise.

Eight of the birds that have been rescued by Mr King did not have a tracking system, and he is urging those who wish to buy a bird of prey to take a course before purchasing the animal.

He also wants to see legislation introduced in the future, which means potential buyers would have to be registered before buying wild birds.

He added: “We would like to see legislation brought in because at the moment anyone can buy a bird of prey.”