We’ve had a Happy Event here at Mull Eagle Watch – but true to form, the Scottish weather is threatening to throw a spanner in the works…
This week it was confirmed that Star and Hope, the White-tailed Eagles of West Ardhu Community Forest, had hatched a single chick.
Our suspicions that an arrival was imminent were raised when Hope’s behaviour underwent a noticeable change.
After 38-days of sitting quietly during her turn at incubation, Hope was suddenly animated – standing up often and peering curiously between her legs. She seemed reluctant to leave the nest, and wouldn’t change places with the male when he solicited a swap.
By lunchtime the following day, Star was bringing in prey and we could see Hope reaching down to feed their tiny eaglet.
However, the good times didn’t last. No sooner had the chick enjoyed its first meal than an arctic blast of icy weather swept over Mull; bringing sleet, snow and bone-chilling winds.
Eagle chicks are unable to regulate their own body temperature until they are around 10-days old. As such, this unseasonal snowfall represents a very real risk of hypothermia for our hatchling.
Watching the silent flakes accumulate, I can’t help but pity this scrap of life – clinging to the warm underside of its parent as the cold gathers around them.
Star and Hope are experienced. They know that they must sit tight at all costs.
For now, all we can do is wait.
To watch the drama unfold, come and see us at NWMCWC’s West Ardhu site.
Booking is essential, so please call: 01680 812 556
Community Ranger for Mull Eagle Watch
To get the latest from our sister site at Tiroran Community Forest, please see: