An update on our east coast sea eagles from Owen Selly (Sea Eagle Project Officer)

In 2016, two sea eagle chicks fledged from nests in East Scotland. White Diamond (named after the identifying wing tags), a female, fledged from a nest in Speyside and White L, a male, fledged from a nest in a Forest Enterprise Scotland woodland in Fife (see here). Both birds were fitted with satellite tags that allow us to monitor their dispersal from the nest and understand how they use the landscape. White L’s satellite tag was generously funded by Blair Drummond Safari Park. 

White L shortly after fledging. Image by Richard Tough

In October, both young sea eagles headed to Deeside and met for the first time in Glen Tanar where they roosted together. Juvenile sea eagles travel widely and form non-breeding communal roosts. After going their separate ways, White L and White Diamond have bumped into each other a few times, most recently at Loch Rannoch in Perthshire. It is amazing to see how far these magnificent birds roam in their first years of life, learning the landscape and undoubtedly meeting lots of other eagles along the way. 

Satellite tag data from White L (blue) and White Diamond (green) during November 2016

Sea eagles, or white-tailed eagles as they are otherwise known, don’t reach full maturity until they are five years old so these young birds still have a long way to go, but who knows, in another four years maybe this encounter will lead to them building a nest of their own together.

We hope you will join the staff and volunteers here at RSPB Scotland in wishing these very special birds another successful year on the east coast of Scotland.