The last few weeks have been without a doubt the most interesting so far here at Mull Eagle Watch!
Last week we had the crew here on Mull ringing all the chicks. So far we have 14 chicks between 22 breeding pairs on the island.
The resident pair Scalla and Anna have raised their chick successfully so far. The appropriate age for ringing of the chick is in between 4 and 8 weeks. So at 5 weeks, we knew it was time to climb that tall tree, and put a ring on it!
Scalla and Anna were last to breed this year, and therefore the chick is the youngest of the lot on Mull.
We ventured deep into the ancient woodlands where the nest is located, and the pair of specialist climbers ascended the tree. We waited at the bottom, braving the midges. It was incredible to witness the parents soaring, circling the trees down low, alert calling. You can really understand how they were so easy to hunt to exctinction when this is their reaction to danger! As the climber was getting to the top, you could hear the young eagle calling. The climber exclaimed “Ahoy there little fella” and very quickly picked it up to move it to a safer part of the nest for the ringing procedure, as he did this we caught a glimpse of the chick… and we were all amazed at the size of the being… 5 weeks old and a hefty size! It’s unbelievable to think that in just another 5 weeks time it will be a fully grown ( 2 metre wingspan ) eagle! It’s half way there… and then will be ready to start learning to fly!
As we waited at the bottom whilst the ringing, weighing, sexing and health monitoring procedure was completed. We looked up through the thick canopy of leaves, clear blue sky and sun sending dappled light throughout the forest floor and every few moments the dark silhouettes of the parent birds gliding overhead. The tour group that day definitely had one of the most profound and lengthy eagle experiences of the season!
Photo by Ross Underwood!
We will be finding out the sex of the chick very soon, and then we can name it 🙂
Such exciting times over the past few weeks… and many more adventures to come!
Over and out for now…
Your Eagle Rangers:
Lizzy and Caoimhe