The 15 new birds have been in captivity for nearly a week now, they weighed between 3 and 4.8kg on arrival and have settled down to eating fish (escapees from fish farms!) venison and will try some rabbit over the weekend. Only the 3 youngest birds (aged 6 weeks) are having their food chopped up whilst the others readily using their feet to hold onto prey and pull bits off with their beaks. The birds are all feeling the heat with the older ones standing out on the perches holding their wings out like cormorants to cool down! We are soaking all their food in plenty of water to ensure they keep hydrated and mimicking the adult's saliva when they feed chicks in the nest.
The chicks' arrival was a more low key affair this year, but they were still welcomed by Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham at Edinburgh airport who has been extremely supportive of the project.
Collection in Norway took place over a week, two of our birds came from the Bergen area and the rest from near Alesund, it is always interesting to see the range of areas that the birds are nesting in, from dramtic crag sites on the side of fjords to more familiar landscapes in pine trees surrounded by grazing land, bogs and farmland buildings.