Norwegian White-tailed Sea Eagle visits Shetland without a Passport.

Throughout the 18th Century the White-tailed Sea eagle was a well-established native Shetland breeding species. The last of the native Shetland population was shot  in 1917, and this bird was the last individual from the whole of Scotland until the reintroduction of a small number of White-tailed eagles in the 20th Century.

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The colour combination used to ring the Norwegian Sea Eagle was very similar to the ring colours seen on this two year old female from Poland

On December last year bird watchers on Unst  observed what they soon began to realise was a second year migrant  White-tailed Eagle. Because the bird had not been fitted with the usual tags it was considered a possibility this bird could have originated from Norway. The bird was first observed drifting in the voe over Baltasound last December. The same bird seen on Unst was observed for a second time on Boxing Day as it flew north towards Saxa Vord.

Information received from Norway eventually confirmed the eagle had been rung in 2011 and was identified from the two colour rings only used on eagles rung in Norway. You can read the complete story here.

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