Fife sea eagle chick gets set to fly the nest

Male White-tailed with chicks (1 of 1)

White-tailed eagle together with nestling. Courtesy of Terry Pickford

A white-tailed sea eagle chick that hatched in a Forest Enterprise Scotland wood in Fife has been tagged and ringed in advance of its first flight away from the nest. This chick is the latest fledgling from the East Scotland Sea Eagle project, which successfully reintroduced white-tailed sea eagles to Fife between 2007 and 2012.

Earlier in the season it was announced that this nest contained twins but unfortunately one of the siblings died in the nest of natural causes at around 4 weeks old. This is the third successful nesting attempt for this pair, who have fledged a single chick each year since their first attempt in 2013. The adult pair were both released in 2009 as part of the reintroduction project in Fife.

The project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, SNH and Forestry Commission Scotland, and as part of a wider reintroduction program across Scotland have reached a milestone of 100 pairs across the country this year.

Graeme Findlay, for Forestry Enterprise Scotland’s team in Tayside, said:

“These magnificent birds are known to travel far and wide as they hunt for food and look for a suitable place to claim as their own. Now that this chick has been fitted with a GSM transmitter, its movements and its health can be monitored, giving researchers a wealth of valuable information.”

Future news about the chick’s movements and dispersal – as well as the sex of the chick when it has been confirmed – will be published on the Forestry Commission Scotland and the East Scotland Sea Eagles blogs.

Rhian Evans, RSPB’s East Scotland Sea Eagle Officer, said:

“Thanks to the dedication of more than 30 RSPB Scotland volunteers, the progress of this nest has been thoroughly documented throughout the season, and the nest protected from disturbance. We are delighted that the chick has made it through to fledging despite a challenging season for many other species.

“This chick is one of five to fledge across the East of Scotland this year in what is a milestone year for white-tailed eagles – the 100th Scottish pair was announced this year in Orkney, and in a year when we celebrate 40 years since the reintroduction program began.”

To mark this special anniversary year and the successes of the reintroduction in Fife, aSea Eagle Celebration Day will be held at the Burgh Chambers and Gardens in Tayport from 12 pm on Saturday 22 August.

RSPB Scotland, the Tayport Community Trust and friends are inviting people to join them to celebrate these amazing birds with fun activities, crafts and a BBQ.

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