Drama continues over Mull sea chick’s fall from nest

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3 JULY 2014NEWS RELEASE No: 16303

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Dramatic webcam footage has revealed that the famous BBC Springwatch sea eagle chick was pushed out of the nest by another immature eagle.

This kind of behaviour has never been recorded before in Scotland according to bird experts.

The footage shows the young invader gradually side up to the eagle chick who is screeching for its parents.

Eventually, after much wing flapping and a short fight-back from the chick, the invader forces the 8 week old chick off the nest, falling 30 feet to the ground.

All is not lost though as the parents arrived back and swiftly chased the invader away. Later, Forestry Commission Scotland rangers found the chick and returned it to the nest.

John Taylor, Forestry Commission Scotland’s conservation ranger said:

“This whole episode has been a real drama from start to finish. Immature sea eagles are often attracted to active nests as they think there may be food to scavenge.  This was just a step too far!

“We’re pleased the chick was returned safely and the opportunistic invader got short shrift from the parents.”

RSPB Scotland’s Mull Officer Dave Sexton added:

“This unique Forestry Commission Scotland webcam not only alerted us to the missing chick in the first place but it then revealed the quite remarkable and dramatic turn of events at the nest with the intruding immature sea eagle pushing the chick off the nest.

“I have never witnessed this kind of astonishing behaviour before in 30 plus years of observing them."

The dramatic events can be viewed online in three videos: 

Nest invasion: http://vimeo.com/99680219

Confrontation of the invader: http://vimeo.com/99689971

Parents drive off the intruder: http://vimeo.com/99690607

Live footage of the chick can be viewed on the webcam, believed to be a UK first, at http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/mull/mull-eagle-watch or www.carnyx.tv

Notes to news editors

1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

2. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotland

3. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland




e-mail: steve.williams@forestry.gsi.gov.uk