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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 11:57 GMT
Eagle eyed up as national bird
Golden Eagle
The golden eagle topped a recent newspaper poll
Ministers are being urged to make the golden eagle Scotland's national bird.

The RSPB had lobbied the parliament's petitions' committee to adopt the bird as an emblem, but it has asked the Scottish Executive to decide.

The society believes the bird symbolises Scotland's great outdoors and has an "irrefutable entitlement" to be given such status.

The golden eagle was voted favourite bird in a recent poll by The Scotsman newspaper, with the red grouse second.

They were followed by the capercaillie, the osprey and the puffin.

At the committee meeting on Wednesday, the idea was supported by the Conservatives' Annabel Goldie but Labour's Helen Eadie nominated the dove of peace. Others favoured a public consultation.

I think the golden eagle would, like America's bald eagle and new Zealand's Kiwi, be something that was a national symbol that we would be all proud of.
Andy Miles,
RSPB Scotland
In the end members decided the executive should be asked to rule on the RSPB's request.

Andy Myles, of RSPB Scotland, said: "This idea originated when I was in New Zealand for a wedding and my Kiwi friends took the mick that they had a national bird and Scotland didn't.

"When I came back home, The Scotsman took the matter up and people voted in a poll for the golden eagle."

Mr Myles said eagles could be found all over the north and west of Scotland but the RSPB was working with others to increase numbers by stopping the persecution of birds of prey.

Mr Myles said: "I think the golden eagle would, like America's bald eagle and new Zealand's Kiwi, be something that was a national symbol that we would be all proud of.

"It wouldn't need any special funding, so it would be a very economic national bird."




SEE ALSO:
Golden eagle 'cryo-chick' hatches
26 May 04 |  Scotland
Rare eagle killed by 'poison'
06 May 02 |  Scotland


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