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RSPB press launch – White-tailed Eagles – Mark Avery

Iconic white-tailed eagles have a good time silver anniversary with 25th chick

Chick 25. Picture: Steve Bentall

A pair of white-tailed eagles on Mull have 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Skye and Frisa are the UK’s oldest recognized white-tailed eagle pair at 28 and 30 years outdated respectively.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 had 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 via to his first nesting as an grownup.

White-tailed eagles had 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 most recent 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, considered one of their descendants, Finn, has been featured on reside cameras at RSPB Scotland’s Loch Garten Nature Centre within the Cairngorms this yr, fledging two chicks along with his companion, 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 approach to independence after a number of extra months of care from her hard-working mother and father. I like the household connections proper again to Blondie and now proper updated with Finn and Shona within the Cairngorms.”

Also referred to as sea eagles, white-tailed eagles are the UK’s largest chicken 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 by way of their star appearances on TV. They’ve been particularly helped over all these years by Forestry and Land Scotland who’ve fastidiously managed their forest residence round them. Skye and Frisa have been a large a part of my day by day life on Mull and so they’re like outdated associates now. They raise my spirits each time I see them.

Frisa. Picture: Iain Erskine

For the most recent updates on how Skye, Frisa and their household are faring, you possibly can comply with @MullEagleWatch and @skyeandfrisa on Twitter.





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