A GIANT bird of prey which went missing in North Yorkshire has been spotted over the border in Lancashire.

Nikita, a Steller’s Sea Eagle, who has a vast wing span of about eight foot, went missing on Saturday whilst being exercised by falconer Chris O’Donnell near Pen-y-Ghent, in the Yorkshire Dales.

The bird is one of the largest in the world and survives largely on a diet of large fish such as salmon, as well as small animals such as rabbits and pigeons.

Mr O’Donnell said since the exceptionally large bird was reported missing, he has been receiving phone calls from across the British Isles from people reporting they may have seen the bird.

But he says a sighting at Slaidburn, in the Trough of Bowland, Lancashire, was so far the most likely.

He was shown a photograph of what looked to be Nikita at the end of a farm drive and spent today (Monday, January 27) searching surrounding fields. But he was unable to spot her before darkness fell.

Mr O'Donnell intends to resume his search at first light tomorrow.

The exceptionally large bird cuts an unmistakable figure on the horizon.

“She won’t even be hungry yet; they can go days and days without food," he said.

"She’s quite happy and healthy, just lost. She’ll just be sitting somewhere thinking “I’ve taken a wrong turn here”.”