As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Fears for golden eagle nests as wildfires sweep Highlands

Dozens of golden eagle eggs and other rare bird nests may have been destroyed in Highland wildfires, experts warned.

RSPB Scotland said it was seriously concerned about the impact on the species, which nests in open moorland.

There have been almost 200 wildfires in the Highlands over the past week, with fire crews still battling a large blaze in Wester Ross.

There are also concerns for thousands of migrant birds that are due to nest in the area in the next few weeks.

The loss of one nest is serious. The loss of double figures will potentially have a huge impact”
James Reynolds, RSPB.

There are thought to be about 400 golden eagles in Scotland, mainly in the Highlands.

James Reynolds, of the RSPB, said the loss of nests could have a devastating impact on the population.

"It is absolutely certain that we will have lost a number of golden eagle nests," he said. "How many we don't know, but for a population that small, even the loss of one nest is serious.

"The loss of double figures will potentially have a huge impact.

"Numbers are already very low, this will just hold them back further."

The RSPB has sent experts to the Highlands to try to assess the extent of the damage.

Mr Reynolds added that white-tailed eagle eggs may also be at risk, as well as those of migrant birds such as short-eared owls, dotterel, golden plover and wheatears, which are due to nest from mid April.

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