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.

Sunday 4 August 2019

The sea eagle has landed – centuries after it disappeared

UK’s largest bird of prey set for release on Isle of Wight later this month

Robin McKieScience editor

Sun 4 Aug 2019 09.00 BST

Sea eagles have returned to the Isle of Wight 239 years after they were last seen there. Six chicks brought from Scotland were taken to the island last month as part of a programme to reintroduce the birds to England’s south coast.

Also known as white-tailed eagles, the birds will be released into the wild in the next few weeks.

Over the next five years 60 young sea eagles – which grow to have a wingspan of up to 2.4 metres (8ft) and are Britain’s largest bird of prey – will be released on the island in a programme approved by Nature England. It is hoped the birds will begin breeding there by 2024.

“Sea eagles were once a common sight in England and southern Europe but were lost centuries ago,” said Roy Dennis, who has pioneered the reintroduction of the birds to Britain. “This project aims to reverse that situation by restoring them to their ancestral nesting places.”

Dennis added that the last pair of sea eagles in England bred on Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight in 1780.

A spokesperson for Forestry England said the new chicks had been doing well since their arrival and that once their health had been checked they would be released into the wild at several different locations in the next few weeks.

The young eagles will be tagged and monitored by satellite before being allowed to fly off. “We will study how they are doing very carefully before we move on to the next stage of the reintroduction programme,” said the spokesperson.

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