By Nadia Gilani
It is not something you expect to see while walking down a busy high street.
But passers-by were forced to believe their eyes when this giant Eagle Owl was spotted perched on a the window ledge of a terraced house in Westward Ho!, near Bideford, Devon yesterday.
The enormous bird - one of the world's largest species of owl, has a wingspan of two metres (6ft) and has been known to prey on animals as big as roe deer.
Surprise visitor: Residents were stunned when they caught sight of this Eagle Owl sitting perched on the window ledge of a terraced house in Westward Ho! near Bideford, Devon
If hungry enough, the owl could easily pounce on small animals like dogs and cats, and residents have been told to report the animal if they spot it.
Passers-by were stunned when the bird was first seen at around 4.30pm yesterday. It sat there an hour-and-a-half but flew off before animal welfare officers could catch it.
Local, Nina Wickmann, 31, who took these photographs of the awesome bird said: 'Some people were looking up and wondering what it was.
Huge: The scale of the Eagle Owl can be seen here as it rested on the window ledge of a house for more than an hour before flying off
'It just sat there until it opened its huge wings and flew to the ledge where I photographed it.
'It was an incredible sight. It's not every day you see a giant bird of prey in a busy street.
'When it flew off, it unleashed this huge wingspan. I would be a little nervous if I had a small dog or cat.'
Eagle owls are not listed as a British species and it is believed the bird may have escaped from a private collection.
It is feared the animal will die in the wild unless rescued and reunited with its owner.
Nina added: 'This is the first time I have seen an eagle owl and it would be nice to see it returned to its home.'
David Rampling, from the Milky Way Bird of Prey Centre in nearby Clovelly, Devon, said: 'If anyone sees this owl please call me and I will do my best to catch it in the most humane way possible.
'Unfortunately some eagle owl owners don't realise the amount of work and experience needed to keep a bird of this type.
'They are difficult to train and it's not uncommon for them to escape'.
Huge wingspan: The Eagle Owl is large enough to pick up cats and small dogs