Posted 25th May 2016 by Peter Byrne
The reintroduction of white-tailed eagles in Scotland made significant progress this week
Two white-tailed eagle chicks successfully hatched on Monday. It marked the fourth successive year that the pair of white-tailed eagles had nested in Forest Enterprise Scotland woodland in Fife, with last year seeing the initial arrival of two chicks. The two parents, called Turquoise 1 and Turquoise Z after their wing tags, were released in 2009 as part of the East Scotland Sea Eagle reintroduction project, which saw 85 of the birds released along the east coast between 2007 and 2012.
Last year was a milestone for the eagles, as the pair marked the population reaching 100 pairs, a great landmark for the reintroduced species. There was further good news as the 100th pair chose to nest in Orkney, which proved to be a significant expansion of their range.
To help people who want to see the bird, RSPB Scotland, Forest Enterprise Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage will be offering guided walks at Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve on Sunday July 17th, Saturday August 6th and Saturday August 27th.
White-tailed eagles, also known as sea eagles can live up to 30 years and will generally mate for life. Once a common sight in Scotland, they were driven to extinction as they were often hunted. Re-introduction occurred in three phases, with an initial plan starting as far back as 1975. The east Scotland re-introduction marked the third phase, with funding from Leader (2011-2013) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (2011-2014).
Image courtesy of Getty / Moment / Open / Sandra Standbridge