A Saga of Sea Eagles - a talk on Scottish reintroduction

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There are many good reasons to be thankful for living in the Hebrides - not least because of the amazing variety of wildlife we can spot .

Otters, seals, basking sharks, gannets, lapwings, arctic terns … the list goes on.

However there is one particular sighting that always sends a thrill down the spine of the fortunate watcher – that of the white-tailed sea eagle.

With a wing span of seven feet, the sea eagle is the fourth largest eagle in the world.

They are native to the UK but were hunted to extinction here over the centuries, the last one being shot in Shetland in 1918.

Conservationists began to moot the possibility of reintroducing sea eagles back to Scotland soon after the war, however early attempts failed, and it was not until the mid-1970s that a long term project got under way.

Over the next decade, 82 eaglets from Norway were flown to the Isle of Rum, and there John Love, project manager had the job of preparing them for their new adult lives in Scotland.

It takes five years for sea eagles to mature and there were a couple of early breeding setbacks, but in 1985 the first wild sea eagle chick in Scotland for seventy years was successfully reared.

Since then the birds have flourished and now there are over 45 breeding pairs living in Scotland.

John is the author of a new book, ‘A Saga of Sea Eagles’, a very personal account of his experiences working with eagles over four decades, he will be coming to An Lanntair in Stornoway on 26th March to give a talk on his experiences.

This event is organised by the Islands Book Trust.

For ticket information email: alayne@theislandsbooktrust.com or ring 01851 830316.