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Last Updated: Monday, 28 May 2007, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Nesting owls swoop on dog walkers
An eagle owl
The eagle owls have attacked dog walkers and their pets
A footpath has been closed in Lancashire following repeated attacks on dog walkers by a pair of nesting eagle owls.

The birds, who are raising their chicks at Dunsop Bridge in Bowland, have become particularly territorial.

The moorland footpath runs between the nest and the birds' regular perch site.

Lancashire County Council closed the path after about half a dozen people reported the birds swooping down to attack them and their pets.

One person was reportedly treated in hospital for minor injuries.

One bird watcher witnessed an attack. Andrew from Wigan said: "I was walking along the path and watching the female on the opposite side.

"There was someone walking a border collie along the path and the next thing the owl came gliding along straight into the side of the border collie and knocked the dog onto its side."

Knee-high to a human with a two-metre (6ft) wingspan, eagle owls are the largest birds in the owl family and have been making a return to the United Kingdom after centuries of absence.

They are usually more commonly seen on the continent and in Scandinavia and as such, the nesting birds in Lancashire have attracted massive interest from bird watchers from across the UK.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The eagle flying over the Lancashire moors



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