Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11:29 UK

Sea eagle chicks take to the sky

Sea eagle
The sea eagle has a wingspan of about eight feet

A giant bird of prey hunted to extinction in Britain by the Victorians is being reintroduced to the east of Scotland.

A group of 14 sea eagle chicks from Norway, which has been reared in custom-built aviaries in Fife, has been released at the Tay estuary.

The re-colonisation project, now in its third year, has already proved to be a success in the west of Scotland.

Scotland now has about 200 sea eagles, which have an eight-foot wingspan.

Last year, 44 pairs of breeding birds produced 28 chicks - a record year for the species since it was first reintroduced to the region.

Some birds from the west coast have made their way east - attracted by the new colony on the other side of the country.

'Perfect habitat'

The sea eagle chicks will be fitted with radio tags so scientists can follow their movements for the next five years.

The re-colonisation project involves RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland.

Claire Smith, RSPB Scotland's sea eagle project officer, said: "Now that we're into the third year of the project, these amazing birds are becoming a more common sight around the Tay estuary, which some of the previous year's birds have made their home.

"This shows that the prey and habitat in this area are perfect for these birds and I look forward to seeing this year's birds meet up with their older counterparts.

"The distinct populations around Scotland and Ireland are now starting to meet and mingle, which is a really good sign for the species."

Print Sponsor

'Flying barn doors' land in Fife
26 Jun 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Birds released in secret location
14 Aug 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
East coast eagle spotted on Mull
11 Mar 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Young sea eagles are 'doing well'
22 Feb 08 |  Tayside and Central
Sea eagle feared killed on estate
03 Dec 07 |  Tayside and Central

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific