Good British sea eagle news

This is a white-tailed eagle film from Sweden.

From Birdwatch in Britain:

White-tailed Eagle reintroduction project celebrates 100th breeding pair

Posted on: 28 May 2015

BBC Springwatch has revealed a significant milestone in the White-tailed Eagle reintroduction project, as the programme announced the 100th breeding pair on Hoy, Orkney.

It has been 40 years since the species was reintroduced to Scotland, and the revelation that the magnificent birds have reached the important milestone of 100 breeding pairs was revealed by Iolo Williams on this evening’s edition of BBC Springwatch. The 100th pair nested on Hoy, and are the first White-tailed Eagles to nest in Orkney for 142 years.

This milestone comes in a year of significant anniversaries for the reintroduction scheme. It is 40 years since the first young White-tailed Eagles from Norway were released on Rum in 1975 and 30 years since the first wild chick fledged on Mull in 1985.

The project – run by RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) – released 82 young eagles over 10 years on Rum. It marked the return of White-tailed Eagle – colloquially know as ‘sea eagle’ – to Scotland after an absence of nearly 60 years. More young eagles were released under the programme in Wester Ross between 1993 and 1998, while further releases took place in Fife from 2007 to 2012 through a partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland.

White-tailed Eagles became extinct in the UK due to widespread persecution. They bred in England and the Isle of Man and across Scotland and Ireland, but by 1900 only a handful of eyries remained, and all were in Scotland. The last known nesting attempt of wild origin was on Skye in 1916, and in 1918 the last British White-tailed Eagle was shot in Shetland.

The sea eagles on Hoy have been seen in the area every spring and summer since 2013 and are both thought to be young birds between four and five years old. This was their first known nesting attempt, and although they were unsuccessful in raising chicks that year the pair have gained vital experience for future nesting attempts.

However, as shown on Springwatch, this historic eyrie is an important step for expansion of the ranges of the species in Scotland and of great cultural significance to Orkney. The importance of eagles can be seen at the Neolithic ‘Tomb of the Eagles’ on South Ronaldsay, which contained the bones of up to 100 people and 14 White-tailed Eagles. A beautiful carving of a sea eagle on a Pictish stone found at the Knowe of Burrian can be seen at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall.

Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “The success of bringing White-tailed Eagles back to Scotland over the last 40 years owes a great deal to the partners involved, as well as the support of Police Scotland, landowners, farmers, local community groups and organisations, and to Norway who gifted the young eagles. It’s fantastic to see how these magnificent birds have captured the public’s imagination, and that the sight of a sea eagle soaring in the Scottish sky is no longer a thing of the past. We’re delighted to celebrate the 100th breeding pair with BBC Springwatch.”

Susan Davies, SNH’s chief executive, said: “What a great conservation achievement – everyone in Scotland should be proud of this! Now these spectacular birds are back, bringing new tourism opportunities to fragile areas. Given their geographical spread, there’s growing chances of seeing these magnificent birds in your local area. It’s particularly wonderful that the birds have spread so far that we have the 100th pair nesting in Orkney, now restored to an area where sea eagles reigned so many years ago. This is one of nature’s brilliant success stories.”

Young sea eagle hatched for first time in Dutch Zwarte Meer

This video is about a white-tailed eagle (aka sea eagle) nest.

Translated from Natuurmonumenten conservation organisation in the Netherlands:

May 7, 2015, 15:59

At the Vogeleiland [bird island] in the Zwarte Meer lake a young sea eagle has hatched. That’s a first for a Natuurmonumenten area! Never before an eagle has nested successfully in one of our properties.

Nest fourteen meters high

Ranger Ruben Kluit says: “The huge nest of the eagle is fourteen meters high in a poplar. In 2009 the eagles built a nest in the same tree. That was lost in a spring storm. It’s great that they have now succeeded. What a beautiful moment when the young bird was visible for the first time !”

Young sea eagles ringed

This is a video about young white-tailed eagles.

Warden Hans Breeveld reports that today, in Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands, two young sea eagles have been ringed at their nest.

Sea eagles, tenth nesting season in the Netherlands

This video is about sea eagles in Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands.

White-tailed eagles had been absent as nesting birds in the Netherlands for centuries. In 2006, for the first time since so long ago, a breeding couple made a nest; in Oostvaardersplassen.

That couple still lives in Oostvaardersplassen; they recently started their tenth nesting season.

Meanwhile, other sea eagle couples started nesting elsewhere in the Netherlands, like in the Lauwersmeer and Biesbosch national parks.

Good great egret and eagle news

This is a video from Finland, about a great egret at a river in winter. The river is surrounded by ice and snow, but it still flows; a bit similar to the river of the dipper nest I saw in Finland.

Warden Hans Breeveld reports today from Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands.

There are 171 great egret nests.

This spring, there is at least one eaglet in the sea eagle nest.

Bald eagle nest in New York City, first in 100 years

This BBC video is called Bald Eagle catches salmon.

From Mother Nature Network in the USA:

Bald eagles starting a family in New York City

The majestic pair have what’s believed to be the first active nest in 100 years

By: Ali Berman

Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 01:19 PM

In Alaska, seeing a bald eagle swooping overhead is magical, if not relatively common. In New York City, it’s a minor miracle.

An elated New York City Audubon announced that a pair of bald eagles has been spotted with what appears to be an active nest on the South Shore of Staten Island, making them the first of the species to incubate eggs in the Big Apple in 100 years.

“The eagles are engaging in brooding behavior typical of nesting birds incubating their eggs,” explained Tod Winston, communications manager and research assistant for NYC Audubon. “Due to the height and location of the nest, it is not possible to actually see into it from the ground.”

The world won’t have to wait too long to see if the birds have successfully started a family. A normal incubation period for the bald eagle is between 34 and 36 days. Both male and female will take turns sitting on the eggs. If the eggs hatch, for the first two weeks of life, at least one parent will stay with the newborns. The one not watching the babies will hunt for prey to feed the family. To see the juveniles fly, we’ll have to wait between 10 and 12 weeks.

Tourists won’t be visiting the nest of this mating pair anytime soon. New York City does not reveal the exact location of bald eagles to help protect them from large crowds and poachers.

The Audubon reports that it is excited about the bald eagles that are establishing roots in the United States’ most populated city, speculating that there are two reasons for the birds’ change of behavior. The local ecosystem is less polluted than it once was, making it a friendlier habitat, and the bald eagle population has rebounded so well that some birds are moving out of more rural areas and into the city.

In 1963, the bald eagle hit its lowest numbers in the U.S. with only 417 documented mating pairs in the lower 48 states, according to NPR. DDT, a pesticide commonly used in the ’40s, contaminated lakes, streams and eventually fish, the eagles’ preferred food. DDT was found to weaken the eggshells. The pesticide, in combination with deforestation and illegal shooting, led to the near extinction of the species.

Due to the low numbers, the bald eagle was declared an endangered species in 1967, even before the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973. In what is considered a great success story, the birds were removed from the endangered species list in 2007, having rebounded to nearly 10,000 mating pairs.

In the wild a bald eagle can live between 15 and 25 years. Many couples mate for life, often returning to the same nest year after year. The birds don’t acquire that telltale white feathered head until they reach 4 or 5 years of age. Before that, the juveniles are mostly brown, and because of their coloring, can be confused with the golden eagle.