After months of anticipation, I can finally announce that the first white-tailed eagle chick has fledged from a nest in the east of Scotland in over 200 years!
A pair of four-year old birds (released in 2009) nested and successfully raised a single chick in a Forestry Commission wood in Fife.
Project volunteer Sarah Underwood found the nest whilst radio tracking in May, and the nest has been monitored closely since by project staff. My next blog will be a piece from Sarah describing how she came across the nest and what it was like to be a part of history!
This is a milestone achievement in the conservation of white-tailed eagles in Scotland. We are finally achieving what the East of Scotland project set out to do, which is to increase the range expansion of white-tailed eagles to what it was before the birds became extinct in 1918. Let’s hope this nest is the first of many more in the east of Scotland in years to come.
This could not have been achieved without the hard work, dedication and support of so many people; volunteers, landowners and especially our project partners in Norway who are also delighted with the news.
The chick was fitted with white wing tags with the black number “1” by experienced and licensed ringers.
David Millar has done a great job at covering it on the BBC website here, with quotes from Paul Wheelhouse; Minister for the Environment, and Start Housden; Director of RSPB Scotland, and the RSPB press release is now up on the website.
We are all delighted with this event, and very excited to see how the first wild fledged chick will fare here in the East with an adult pair to learn from.
Here is a photo of "13White1" on the nest shortly before fledging (photo by Jacob Davies)
Fantastic news, so pleased, and for it to be in Fife as well. Congratulations to all involved for your hard work past and present. Good luck in the big wide world '13White1'.
Fantastic news Rhian - many congratulations to all involved!