• One day I'll fly away - Part 5 - The Homecoming

    Kellan had been away from Mull for three long months. It was time to bring him home.

    The RSPB doesn't generally do wildlife rescue and animal welfare. It's just not what we're set up for - or why the Society first came into being. We protect birds and other wildlife through policy work, research, land acquisition, species protection and investigations. We don't have the expertise or experience to rescue and look after…

    • 30 Jan 2011
  • One day I'll fly away Part 4

    There were moments over the next few weeks when you really had to wonder about the maternal and paternal bonds of eagle parents and their offspring. Birds of prey like white-tailed eagles are 'hard-wired'. It's all instinctive. When there's a chick around to feed, calling, food begging, they'll hunt, feed and protect it. If it vanishes overnight, the stimulus is removed and they move on. No food begging: no need to hunt…

    • 25 Jan 2011
  • One day I'll fly away Part 3

    I was used to handling eaglets from the nest when they were being ringed at 4-5 weeks old and even at the satellite or wing tagging stage when they're usually 8-9 weeks old. But what lay before me was a totally different ball game. This was a fully grown eagle who had tasted freedom and was not about to surrender it lightly. Maybe it was just too risky to attempt it alone. If one talon pierced something critical I could…

    • 18 Jan 2011
  • One day I'll fly away Part 2

    And it was all going so well. Too well.

    Kellan, the young male white-tailed eagle from a nest on Mull in 2010, had successfully fledged from his nest high up in a block of Sitka spruce. He was being eagerly watched by many people on the campsite, by visitors on wildlife expeditions and from the boat trips up the loch. He'd been seen flying well by many observers and had even made it as far as his parent's favourite…

    • 11 Jan 2011
  • One day I'll fly away Part 1

    This is the story of a young white-tailed eagle on Mull called Kellan. So far it has a beginning, a middle but, as yet, no end. I really hope it stays that way.

    Kellan was the only chick to hatch from his egg in a clutch of two last summer. He was special and different right from the start. He grew fast and strong in his sturdy nest, tended, brooded and fed daily by his two white-tailed parents. The male of the pair is…

    • 5 Jan 2011