Sea eagles breed in Royal Deeside for first time in 200 years

Two chicks named Albert and Victoria were fledged in the Cairngorms.

Sea eagles breed in Royal Deeside for first time in 200 years

A pair of sea eagles have successfully bred in Royal Deeside for the first time in 200 years.

Two chicks, who have been named Victoria and Albert, were fledged on Mar Estate in the East Cairngorms were the eagles nested.

Despite being present for several years, it is believed they have not bred in the area since the early 1800s.

The sea eagles are one of 5 territorial pairs in the Cairngorms National Park this year, of which three have fledged young.

Also known as white-tailed eagles, they became extinct in Scotland in 1918 but, after an absence of almost 60 years, they were reintroduced to the west coast in 1975, using Norwegian birds.

Further reintroductions in Wester Ross and then Fife have resulted in the national population gradually expanding to around 130 pairs, with pairs in the National Park tending to be a mix of birds from the east and west.

The pair on Mar Estate is made up of a male released in 2011 as part of the Fife re-introduction and a female believed to be from the west coast.

The news of the first successful breeding attempt has been welcomed.

Mark Nicolson, a proprietor of Mar Estate said: “We are delighted, Sea eagles have been present for several years, mainly providing spectacular aerial battles with our long resident golden eagles.

“Our hopes that they might settle and breed have been realised, and we look forward to their return next year.”

Grant Moir, CEO of the Cairngomrs National Park Authority aid “We are keen to see more raptors in the area so this news is very welcome.”

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