Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn, tells us why he thinks golden eagles should be Scotland's national bird.

Scotland’s national bird

Winter has really hit with a vengeance here in the Highlands – storm force winds, blizzards, trains and ferries cancelled, and the mountain hares are turning white. But golden eagles are already thinking about next spring.

I was up the glen the other day in perfect weather for spotting eagles – showers scudding in on a fresh breeze giving the birds plenty of lift and concentrating their activity into the dry spells. And sure enough, I was only 15 minutes from the car when I saw my first eagle of the day – a bit distant but still unmistakable with those big straight wings and splayed ‘fingers’. It hung over a herd of deer for a few moments sizing them up for any signs of weakness but seeing none drifted off and took three steep dives – eagle display!

Eagles won’t lay their eggs until late March but now is the time for the serious business of ensuring that they still have a mate and territory when that time comes. So, whilst other wildlife is battening down the hatches for the winter, adult eagles are patrolling their bit of hill seeing off intruders.

They are hardy birds, but it’s a tough world out there for eagles to survive – the weather is something they’re adapted to cope with but dealing with unfriendly humans is more of a challenge. The latest statistics paint a depressing picture but eagles deserve much more respect and the law-abiding majority of us will prevail.

Please show your support by adding your name to those asking for golden eagles to be named as Scotland’s national bird – petition closes on Friday 6 December so you’ll need to be quick!!