First sea eagle on Farne Islands

A White-tailed sea eagle has been spotted on the Farne Islands for the first time, a black-backed gull attacks it, photo credit National Trust

From Wildlife Extra:

White-tailed eagle spotted on Farne Islands

06/09/2010 08:18:20

Farne Island first

August 2010. The warden team on the Farne Islands have recorded their first ever White-tailed Eagle on the Farne Islands. This is only the third time in four years that one of the Eagles has made it into northern England.

The bird took up residence on 27th August and was identified as one of the young eagles that were released in Fife in mid August. This bird is resident on Staple Island and has been, as you can imagine, causing quite a stir amongst the resident sea birds.

The last interesting visitor to the Farne Islands, owned and managed by the National Trust, was an otter in the autumn of 2008.

Of course, the birds who come to the Farne Islands to breed every year, including puffins and roseate terns, are also really interesting.

October 2010: An Arctic tern discovered off the coast of Northumberland is believed to be more than 30 years old, making it the oldest known in the UK: here.

Young sea eagle numbers soaring in Scotland: here.

November 2010. 2010 has proved a record-breaking year for the UK’s largest bird of the prey, the white-tailed sea eagle. Not only has the Scottish population passed the 50 breeding pairs milestone, the species has also produced more young per pair than in any other year since their reintroduction 35 years ago: here.

This is a video about two sea eagles eating an Egyptian goose in the Biesbosch, the Netherlands.

Farne Islands bird photos: here.

Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica on the Farne Islands: here. And here.

BBC News – Farne Islands seal pups’ ‘remarkable’ journey: here.

Scarlet rosefinch on the Isle of May: here.

6 thoughts on “First sea eagle on Farne Islands

  1. When baby eagles dare, we will be watching

    John Huxley
    October 18, 2010

    Ready for lift-off … two eaglets, born 10 weeks ago, are ready to leave the nest at Homebush. Photo: Jon Irvine

    For the past few weeks they have been ”jumping up and down on the edge of the nest, flexing their wings”. Now, says a Sydney Olympic Park ranger, a local pair of prized sea eagle chicks are ready for lift-off.

    ”We expect them to go very soon,” said Judy Harrington, who has monitored their progress on EagleCam at the Birds Australia Discovery Centre at Newington since they hatched in woodland there 10 weeks ago.

    ”It’s very exciting. This is the first time in recent memory that two have survived to this stage. More often, one is stronger and ‘out-competes’ the other, especially if there is a shortage of food,” she said.

    ”This time there seems to have been heaps of food around: all sorts of fish, and a sea eagle can easily pop out and pick off the occasional silver gull. So, hopefully, the two have now attained, if you like, critical mass.”

    White-bellied sea eagles have been breeding in the area for a couple of decades, but in recent years their survival rate beyond the nest has been poor. ”It can be a big, bad world out there for a young sea eagle.

    ”You can be attacked by bigger birds, hit by cars. You can discover you don’t have the technique to survive out of the nest. You can eat something nasty,” such as heavy metals found in the toxic sludge in the Homebush area.

    Recent tests, however, proved inconclusive, revealing a build-up of metals in birds, but not to lethal levels. Significantly, other species such as darters and cormorants breed, eat fish and raise young successfully in similar habitats.

    Ms Harrington believes the mother of the two chicks is making at least her third successive annual appearance in the parental nest, which is located on a protected natural reserve.

    ”Three years ago, the male disappeared. Something happened to him. Soon after a juvenile male, easily identified by his brown feathers, moved in. For a while he took over feeding the chicks,” she said.

    ”But then another mature male moved in and pushed the toy-boy, as we called him, out. We think the parents are the same as last year.”

    This intriguing family drama featuring male powerplay, sibling rivalry and take-away food has made fascinating viewing on EagleCam, which Birds Australia hopes will offer live streaming next year.

    Though sea eagles are not listed as a threatened species in NSW, experts believe they are under increasing pressure as coastal land is claimed for development.

    Meanwhile, the sea eagles can be seen alongside the Parramatta River by walkers, cyclists and ferry passengers, flying over Homebush Bay, roosting near Ermington and fishing near Ryde Bridge.


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