White-tailed eagles together more than two decades fledge 25th chick

The latest chick, which is thought to be a female, is out of the nest and on her way to independence.

White-tailed eagle pair Skye and Frisa together more than two decades on Mull fledge 25th chick Jim Manthorpe, BBC Winterwatch

The UK’s oldest known white-tailed eagle pair have celebrated their silver anniversary by successfully fledging their 25th chick.

Skye, who is now 28, and Frisa, who is 30, live on Mull and first paired up in 1997 before having their first chick the following year.

The pair’s newest chick – thought to be a female – is the latest in a white-tailed eagle dynasty. 

White-tailed eagles were driven to extinction in the UK in the early 20th century, before re-introduction programmes beginning in 1975 helped re-establish the population. 

There are now estimated to be at least 150 pairs across Scotland, with much of this recovery being driven by Skye and Frisa.

In 1985, Frisa’s mother, Blondie, became the first eagle to successfully hatch a chick in Scotland following the re-introduction. 

The chick is believed to be female (Pic: Steve Bentall)

Skye and Frisa became household names in 2005 with their televised debut on the first ever episode of BBC’s Springwatch and have since appeared on numerous other programmes.

In 2008, their chicks Mara and Breagha were filmed by Gordon Buchanan and featured on Springwatch as the first white-tailed eagles in the UK to be satellite tagged. 

This allowed the public to follow their movements online and Mara became the first UK white-tailed eagle to be tracked from chick right through to his first nesting as an adult.

RSPB Mull Officer Dave Sexton said: “What an incredible achievement for Skye and Frisa after 25 years together. 

“Their 25th chick is now out of the nest and well on her way to independence after a few more months of care from her hard-working parents.”

Also known as sea eagles, white-tailed eagles are the UK’s largest bird of prey with a wingspan of two point five metres. 

Their distinctive, broad shape in flight has led to them being nicknamed ‘flying barn doors’.

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