White-tailed eagles on the Isle of Mull are thriving with 20 pairs now nesting on the Scottish island. The Mull Eagle Watch Partnership said 10 chicks had fledged from seven nests during last year’s breeding season. It also said 6,000 people a year were visiting the island to see the birds also known as sea eagles, which had boosted the local economy by £2m. The birds of prey originally colonised Mull in 1983 and produced the first successful fledglings in 1985 after being reintroduced to the nearby Isle of Rum 10 years earlier, BBC
Across Scotland a total of 46 pairs of white tailed eagles managed to successfully rear 36 chicks.
With more than 200 individual sea or white-tailed eagles in Scotland, experts believe there are now more white-tailed eagles in Scotland than at any time in the past 150 years. The country’s breeding population of sea eagles has attained two key records this year – with the highest number of breeding pairs and more young successfully fledged that at any time in the reintroduction programme’s history.
Figures from the 2009 survey show there are now 46 territorial breeding pairs, an increase of two pairs since 2008 – with one new pair setting up a territory on Lewis and one in Lochaber. It has also been the most successful year in terms of chicks produced, with 24 successful broods fledging a total of 36 chicks.