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RSPB press launch – White-tailed Eagles – Mark Avery

Iconic white-tailed eagles rejoice silver anniversary with 25th chick

Chick 25. Picture: Steve Bentall

A pair of white-tailed eagles on Mull have just lately celebrated their 25th anniversary by efficiently fledging their 25th chick.

Frisa (L) and Skye (R). Picture: Jim Manthorpe/BBC Winterwatch

Skye and Frisa are the UK’s oldest identified white-tailed eagle pair at 28 and 30 years previous respectively. They paired up in 1997 and had their first chick the next yr, earlier than changing into family names in 2005 with their televised debut on the primary ever episode of BBC’s Springwatch.

Since then, they’ve appeared on quite a few different programmes together with Countryfile, The One Present and Springwatch spin-offs Autumnwatch and Winterwatch. In 2008, their chicks Mara and Breagha have been filmed by Gordon Buchanan and featured on Springwatch as the primary white-tailed eagles within the UK to be satellite tv for pc tagged. This allowed the general public to comply with their actions on-line and Mara turned the primary UK white-tailed eagle to be tracked from chick proper by to his first nesting as an grownup.

White-tailed eagles have been pushed to extinction within the UK within the early 20th century, earlier than re-introduction programmes starting in 1975 helped re-establish the inhabitants. There at the moment are estimated to be at the least 150 pairs throughout Scotland, with a lot of this restoration being pushed by Skye and Frisa.

The pair’s latest chick – considered a feminine – is the newest in a white-tailed eagle dynasty. In 1985, Frisa’s mom, Blondie, turned the primary eagle to efficiently hatch a chick in Scotland following the re-introduction. Furthermore, one in all their descendants, Finn, has been featured on stay cameras at RSPB Scotland’s Loch Garten Nature Centre within the Cairngorms this yr, fledging two chicks along with his accomplice, Shona.

Skye. Picture: Iain Erskine

RSPB Mull Officer Dave Sexton stated “What an unbelievable achievement for Skye and Frisa after 25 years collectively. Their 25th chick is now out of the nest and effectively on her technique to independence after a number of extra months of care from her hard-working mother and father. I really like the household connections proper again to Blondie and now proper updated with Finn and Shona within the Cairngorms.”

Often known as sea eagles, white-tailed eagles are the UK’s largest hen of prey with a wingspan of two.5 metres. Their distinctive, broad form in flight has led to them being nicknamed ‘flying barn doorways’.

A current research highlighted the financial advantages the birds have dropped at Mull, with between £4.9million and £8million of vacationer spend being attracted by white-tailed eagles yearly, which in flip helps as much as 160 jobs.

Dave added, “Skye and Frisa have been nice ambassadors for his or her species having been watched and loved at Mull Eagle Watch and through their star appearances on TV. They’ve been particularly helped over all these years by Forestry and Land Scotland who’ve rigorously managed their forest dwelling round them. Skye and Frisa have been an enormous a part of my day by day life on Mull and so they’re like previous mates now. They raise my spirits each time I see them.

Frisa. Picture: Iain Erskine

For the newest updates on how Skye, Frisa and their household are faring, you may comply with @MullEagleWatch and @skyeandfrisa on Twitter.





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