Update on our shedload of satellite-tagged golden eagles

Earlier this year we satellite-tagged a shedload of golden eagles in Scotland as part of a joint initiative with Chris Packham, funded by two very generous philanthropists (see here for project background).

Our eagles are doing well, all of them still hanging out in their natal territories although a few have started to make some short exploratory excursions beyond these local areas. For obvious reasons, we will not be providing location information until the young birds have dispersed far from their parents’ territories.

We’re getting fantastic data from the tags. These are different tags to those used to track hen harriers so there’s none of this, say, ‘on for a few hours/off for 48 hours’ cycle – our tags are providing positional data around the clock, sometimes at just a few minutes’ interval, so we know EXACTLY where our eagles are at all hours of the day, and night.

Here’s one of our eagles (#929) caught on camera a few weeks ago coming in to feed on a carcass, along with her Mum! (Our field team tell us 929’s Dad has also visited this carcass but is not photographed here).

More updates in due course.

20 Responses to “Update on our shedload of satellite-tagged golden eagles”

  1. 1 Harry Bickerstaff
    December 5, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Great to see a simple SUCCESS at last! Definite thanks to the donors and volunteers, who made it happen.

  2. 2 Alex Milne
    December 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Delighted to hear your tags are always signalling. If only these could be light enough for Hen Harriers. Maybe one day soon they will be…

    • 3 dave angel
      December 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      That’s pretty much inevitable and must be a concern for those who don’t want harriers to flourish.

      We might just be reaching a tipping point where the risk of detection, and the consequences of being caught, make raptor persecution too risky to contemplate.

      • December 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

        How long before we have satellites which can zoom in live on the killers and watch which car they drive in and where they drive to? I don’t like surveillance one bit but this would make it worth while. If the satellites were just targeting raptor hot spots or all driven grouse moors as a condition of the licence, it would get around any genuine human rights issues.
        Or chips on the raptors which omit some kind of harmless radioactive signal which can be traced to the nearest person at death. Bit like the paint explosives in bank bags which spattered Kenny on Scot Squad.
        Or a rotating camera broadcasting live pictures all the time.
        Eventually technology will make raptor crime impossible.
        Philip K. Dick territory i know but at the rate of progress especially in England technology will overtake legislative change very soon, if it hasn’t already.

  3. 5 Jo
    December 5, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    So good to know everything is going well …… and super pics!

  4. 6 Rob
    December 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Some welcome news from the uplands for once,hope they all find new territories safely

  5. 7 Nigel
    December 5, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Great news lets hope it stays that way.

  6. 8 Steve macsweeney
    December 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Three cheers for the Eagle champions.

  7. 9 Tony Black
    December 5, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Great news indeed, maybe now get some transparency when one flies into a wind turbin.

    • 10 Ron99
      December 5, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      It would be more useful to get some transparency from the shooting around illegal persecution of raptors. Instead we get deafening silence, mostly.

  8. 11 Caro McAdam
    December 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Fantastic. What a beautiful girl! Thanks to all who have made this possible..

  9. 12 Ian Rogerson
    December 5, 2017 at 8:36 pm


  10. 13 Lizzybusy
    December 6, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Great work. Well done.

  11. 14 Linda Fisher
    December 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Wonderful photos, I sincerely hope they keep away from the grouse moors!

  12. 15 Geof
    December 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Great news! Along with the excellent fledged harrier numbers. On Grouse moors no less! Perhaps now the cries of persecution by gamekeepers can be silenced. I suspect that car strike incidents will rise now👍

    [Ed: Oh dear. You might want to read our next blog about the so-called excellent fledged harrier numbers ‘on grouse moors’]

  13. 16 Chas Moonie
    December 7, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Wonderful news, glad they are all still around. Must be interesting to follow their moments 24/7

  14. December 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    We can contribute to help Dara McAnulty raise money for satellite tags of raptors

  15. 18 Loki
    December 7, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Great news! Well done to everyone involved in this!

  16. December 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Truly powerful birds. I live in Eagle Mountain, Utah and we have had several raptor rehab clinics release rehabilitated birds in our area.

  17. 20 Stephen Wilkie
    December 21, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    POLICE SCOTLAND | POILEAS ALBA – CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS Corporate HQ Telephone: 01786 896720 Email: media.hq@scotland.pnn.police.uk

    PR 19040 20 December 2017

    For immediate release

    Young hen harrier found dead in Argyll and Bute

    Police Scotland and RSPB Scotland are issuing a joint appeal for information after a young hen harrier was discovered dead with unexplained injuries on an estate on the Cowal Peninsula near Dunoon, Argyll and Bute. “Kathy”, a female bird, was satellite tagged as a chick on the Cowal Peninsula in August this year (2017) as part of the RSPB’s EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project. After fledging in late August, Kathy remained in the vicinity of the nest she hatched in for the next month. RSPB Scotland staff monitoring her tracking device became concerned when data suggested she hadn’t moved on October 3. A search was carried out on October 5 when Kathy’s body was discovered. The post-mortem results indicated that the bird had unexplained injuries which may be the result of criminality.

    PC Donald Mackay from Police Scotland, said: “I appeal for anyone who knows what happened to Kathy to contact Police Scotland so that we can establish how she may have died. Although this would be an isolated incident in my area, it is concerning that a raptor may have been deliberately killed in Argyll. Hen harriers are a particularly fragile bird of prey in terms of their numbers in the UK, and Police Scotland will work with its partners to thoroughly investigate this incident and robustly deal with any person who may have been involved.“ Will Hayward, Investigations Officer for RSPB Scotland, said: “We are advised that this hen harrier has died from unexplained injuries that may be the result of criminality. If criminal cause of death is confirmed, this incident will sadly be another statistic to add to a catalogue of hen harriers that meet their end in this way. Only through the use of satellite technology are we finally getting an accurate picture of the true scale of a human persecution problem that has been denied by some parties for decades. We look forward to hearing the results of the police investigation into this hen harrier death in due course.” Hen harriers are one of the country’s most threatened birds of prey with the latest national survey recording only 460 breeding pairs in Scotland, a drop of 27% since 2004.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 and ask to speak to a Wildlife Crime Officer.



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