On Boxing day, birders in Unst in Shetland reported seeing an immature white-tailed sea eagle with two colour rings. The rings looked very different from those used on the west coast of Scotland and certainly looked different from the single silver ring fitted to the east coast sea eagles. Colour rings were only used on the east coast in 2008 when licensing restrictions meant we couldn’t use wing tags to identify the birds.

Thanks to some great photography by Robbie Brooks and after photos and emails were exchanged  throughout Scotland, Norway and Sweden, it was concluded that this bird had come from Norway! There have been very few Norwegian white-tailed eagles recorded in Scotland so this was definitely a notable event!


Unst in Shetland is where the last surviving white-tailed eagle in the UK (an albino female) was shot in 1918.

Here is a link to an eye witness account by Brydon Thomason;