A HAWK spotted in Lockwood last week had escaped when thieves targeted the premises of a Huddersfield falconer, it has emerged.
The bird - which was seen perching high in a tree for several hours last Friday - is one of a pair of red tailed hawks owned by the Lockwood man.
Its mate was taken along with a pair of Harris hawks by thieves who struck last Thursday night.
Now the owner has posted a "substantial" reward for information leading to the return of the valuable birds.
The falconer, who has asked not to be named, said: "My premises were broken into and they got away with three birds. The other flew off.
"They will be looking to sell them, but I am worried that they won't know how to look after them properly.
"They won't know how to feed them. They'll probably try giving them bits of bacon or sausage."
The man has appealed for help to trace the birds of prey, known as raptors, and has posted a reward on websites devoted to falconry. He was able to recapture the red-tailed hawk on Friday afternoon.
The bird was thought to be a hybrid, a cross between two species of raptor, but is a pure bred red-tailed hawk.
He said: "The bird is probably wondering what's going on without its mate, but it upsets me. It takes years for these birds to bond as pairs.
"They are expensive to keep and represent a good deal of time, money and effort."
The man urged anyone with information to contact the police.