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.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Public bodies admit sea eagles in Scotland are killing healthy sheep

June 19, 2019

Sea eagles reintroduced to Scotland are preying on healthy lambs, it has been formally acknowledged for the first time.

Crofters have long believed that the birds of prey will kill and eat very young sheep, but public bodies behind the reintroduction of sea eagles have finally admitted that it is the case.

The white-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in the UK and the fourth largest eagle in the world.

Its wingspan can be almost 2.5 meters in length, standing at a height of almost a meter and were reintroduced in Scotland using birds from Norway, in 1975 and 1985 – with further releases this century.

Breeding in Scotland has now been so successful that there are an estimated 130 pairs of White-tailed Eagles spread across the west Highland coast and islands.

But warnings have been issued that should the number of sea eagles increase, the livelihoods of crofters will be affected – impacting the most eco-friendly form of farming.

Scottish Natural Heritage has finally admitted the eagles are swooping on lambs – an acknowledgement described as “long overdue” by the Scottish Crofting Federation.


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