Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sea Eagles breed on Islay for first time

A pair of Sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) successfully bred on Islay during 2010.  The birds, both of which were four years old  and had themselves been raised on Mull, raised two young.  Four years old is very young for Sea eagles to successfully breed as it is more usual for a young bird of either sex to pair up with a more experienced older partner.  Fledging two youngsters in these circustances is quite remarkable.

The feat was not achieved without a little bit of assistance however.  The nest built by the birds was, according to an RSPB source, 'a bit of a shambles', and one of the young eaglets fell out of it at one point.  He/she was however picked up and returned from whence they came and all was well.

Sea eagles have done well in Scotland since their re-introduction on the Isle of Rum some 34 years ago.  52 pairs were recorded in 2010 raising 46 young.

Nineteen birds were released in Fife this year as part of a scheme to re-introduce them to the east coast.

Sea eagles released in Fife

Photographs of Islay Sea eagles - Ron Steenvorden

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