Sea eagle ploughs into wind turbine before midges bite

The bird was found on the Isle of Lewis, where it was born 11 years ago.

Sea eagle ploughs into wind turbine before midges bite Scottish SPCA

A sea eagle was badly injured after colliding with a wind turbine – and then facing a midge attack.

The bird was found on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, where it was born 11 years ago.

The bird of prey is the largest species to live in the UK and is also known as a white-tailed eagle, and was reintroduced in Scotland as part of a breeding programme.

Rescuers found the stricken bird on moorland close to a wind turbine on the island, on August 10.

It is now recovering from its injuries and will be released back into the wild when it is well enough.

Scottish SPCA auxiliary inspector Maggie Adkins said: “On arrival it was clear the eagle had a serious head injury and it was also being eaten alive by midges.

“It was found in a remote part of the island close to a large wind turbine so this is likely to have been the cause of its injuries.

“I immediately took the bird to the Old Mill Vet Practice, where it was given pain relief and medication.

“After an x-ray, thankfully no breakages were found but the bird had severe bruising to the body as well as head trauma.

“As the eagle had an RSPB leg ring and tracker attached to its body, I contacted the local RSPB representative, Robin Reid. He was able to confirm that the bird had been born in June 2009 here on the island.

“It was fascinating to be able to get in touch with the RSPB and find out more about this beautiful bird’s background.”

RSPB representative, Robin Reid, said: “The population of white-tailed eagles on the Isle of Lewis has been increasing in recent years following their successful re-introduction to Scotland.

“However, it is concerning that this injured bird has been found close to a wind farm.

“We know the species is susceptible to collisions with wind turbines and we are concerned about the impact of further proposed wind farms in the area.”