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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Sea eagle 200th to take to 'Skye'
White-tailed sea eagles (Pic: Iain Erksine)
Two of Skye's surviving white-tailed sea eagle triplets
A white-tailed sea eagle chick on the Skye has become the 200th to take to the air since the birds began breeding again in Scotland 21 years ago.

The young raptor from one of the first recorded triplets on the island has flown its nest, which can be viewed via CCTV at the Aros Centre, near Portree.

Sea eagles settled on Mull and Skye soon after their initial reintroduction to Rum in 1975.

The first chick fledged on Mull 10 years later in 1985.

Fledgling birds have the wings and feathers to enable them to fly their nest.

Summer storms

Skye is home to a quarter of Scotland's white-tailed eagle population and RSPB Scotland said it is one of the best places to see the birds in their natural habitat.

Alison MacLennan, the society's Skye officer, said the 200th fledgling marked a milestone for the programme.

She said: "Perhaps what is most impressive is that it took us 31 years from the first introduced birds to see a hundred wild-fledged sea eagles - and just the last six years for that figure to double."

Sadly, the youngest of the triplets died during storms earlier this summer.

The birds of prey became extinct in Britain following persecution during the early 19th century.

Young eagles were reintroduced to Rum in 1975 from Norway.


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