Eagles

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eagle-watching

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Three amazing images from 'Share Nature' taken by Guy Broome

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Image taken by Guy Broome

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Image taken by Guy Broome

Numbers are reasonably high here and the birds enjoy a spectacular range of habitats from 3,000 foot peaks to sea cliffs, adorned with white sandy beaches. Golden Eagles eat carrion [any dead animal], mountain hares and some game birds such as Ptarmigan; however their favourite prey is undoubtedly the Mountain Hare

Your first sighting of a Golden Eagle, is usually a large bird of prey breaking the skyline, and often being chased by Ravens or Hooded Crows, particularly during the breeding season of May to July, when all birds are very territorial in their behaviour.

Here on Mull, you will often see the White Tailed Sea Eagle and Golden Eagle together; then it is easy to tell them apart. The Sea Eagle is bigger by a third, than the Golden Eagle. Your first impression of a Sea Eagle, is of an immense pair of very broad wings. The tail is wedge shaped and only two thirds the width of the wings. The head seems to protrude well in front of the large square ended wings, whereas the Golden Eagle has a smaller head and longer tail, which it twists to steer, rather like a Red Kite.

In summer, you will usually see adult birds of both species, which means that you should see the white tail and pale head of the Sea Eagle, and the golden head and dark tail of the Golden Eagle. Outside the breeding season, the watcher could mistake a young Golden Eagle for a Sea Eagle, because they have white tail with a black band; however, the silhouette is never like that of the bigger Sea Eagle. The young Sea Eagle also has a dark tail which can add to the confusion.