(apologies to the Pointer Sisters!)
Well - its happened! Fingal and Iona are now the proud parents of two eaglets. Last week we were pacing the floor - watching for any hint of a change in behaviour. Indeed on Monday, Iona, our female, was very fidgety and kept looking down into the nest. Then on Tuesday, Fingal, her mate, did the same. There was also evidence of food on the nest, a sure sign things were imminent. And then on Wednesday we saw the first feed taking place. Very gently, Iona broke off tiny morsels of food and leant down into the nest for her young to remove from her. Another sign of a feed is the amount of saliva that literally pours from the females mouth. Its possible there are enzymes in the saliva that help breakdown the food for the newly hatched chick. Then on Friday, our visitors to Glen Seilisdeir were over the moon to see the first sighting of not one, but two white fluffy heads, just bobbing up and down.
Here is a short clip of Iona and Fingal on Friday having just fed the chicks
From now until about 6/7 weeks of age, the chicks will grow at a phenominal rate - lets hope the fantastic warm, sunny weather we have been experiencing on Mull continues for another couple of weeks. For the first two weeks of life, the young chicks are very vulnerable. They are unable to regulate their own body temperature so there is always an adult present on the nest, brooding the chicks - keeping them dry and warm. Fingal and Iona will take turns in sitting on them while the other goes off to find food, maybe some fish from nearby Loch Scridain, possibly a rabbit or even a fulmar.
The trips to our new location at Glen Seilisdeir are proving very popular. Dont forget if you are planning a visit, booking is essential. This can be done through our friends at the Craignure Visitor Centre on 01680 812556. The area is also proving great for other wildlife life too including an osprey which flew over last week, as well as willow warbler, crossbills at the top of the nest tree and some great sightings of golden eagles too. If you look at the map of our satellite tagged birds http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/tracking/mulleagles/ you will see that Midge came and paid us a visit. Midge was a chick from a nest on Mull and fledged in 2010 and its interesting to see the different areas our youngsters visit before they think about settling down with a mate and finding a suitable territory.
Of course we will keep you posted on the progress of our chicks - for those of you who use Twitter you can follow us @skyeandfrisa and on Facebook you can join our Mull Sea Eagle group.
Until next time
White Tailed Eagle Information Officer
Isle of Mull