2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the extinction of white-tailed eagles in the UK, with the last British bird killed in Shetland in 1918. So it is a particularly poignant year to celebrate the return of these magnificent birds to our shores, with the first white-tailed eagle chicks to hatch in Orkney for 145 years!

White-tailed eagle - Martin Lever

We have even more exciting news this week – we can confirm there are two chicks in the nest. These images were captured from the car park the weekend before last, where we run Eaglewatch, every day. They show the female returning to the nest with a lunchtime offering of a fulmar. The chicks are now approximately seven weeks old and with both parents working hard to bring in food, they are growing fast!

At the nest - Lee Shields

It has been a busy season so far at Eaglewatch! A team of staff and volunteers have enjoyed welcoming more than 2,600 visitors to the Dwarfie Stone car park, this spring and summer. The majority of visitors have enjoyed great views of the new eagle parents bringing food to the nest and in the last 10 days, views of at least one of the chicks have become more regular.

Enjoying the view - Lee Shields

With white-tailed eagles and much more fantastic wildlife to spot from hen harriers to glorious wildflowers, a day trip to Hoy is on many summer holiday to-do lists. Do call in and see us at Eaglewatch – we have telescopes set up and plenty of information to help make the most of a visit to our RSPB Scotland Hoy nature reserve. We are at the Dwarfie Stone every day between 11am and 3pm.

Hoy - Becky Austin

And the latest news from the chicks is that both are doing well. To allow us to find out where the chicks go after they leave the nest, specialist climbers fitted the chicks with wing tags this week. Both chicks were looking really healthy and the experts were pleased with their progress. Their unique tags will allow anyone getting a good view of the birds to identify the individual.  We would be keen to have any sightings of them, once the  leave the nest, so if you spot a white-tailed eagle with a blue tag with a B or a C written in white, please get in touch with the team in Orkney by emailing orkney@rspb.org.uk or calling 01856 850176.

 

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