Highlands & Islands

Mull sea eagle chick was pushed by rival

A webcam recording has revealed that the sea eagle chick featured on BBC Springwatch was pushed from its nest by another bird.

The aggressor, another immature eagle, was seen forcing out the eight-week-old chick, which fell 30ft to the ground.

Experts have said this type of behaviour has never been recorded in Scotland before.

The chick was eventually returned to the nest on Mull by Forestry Commission Scotland rangers.

Ranger John Taylor said: "This whole episode has been a real drama from start to finish. Immature sea eagles are often attracted to active nests as they think there may be food to scavenge. This was just a step too far.

"We're pleased the chick was returned safely and the opportunistic invader got short shrift from the parents."

At least one of the chick's parents has now been spotted returning to the nest.

Live footage of the chick can be viewed on a dedicated webcam.

RSPB Scotland's Mull officer Dave Sexton said: "This unique Forestry Commission Scotland webcam not only alerted us to the missing chick in the first place but it then revealed the quite remarkable and dramatic turn of events at the nest with the intruding immature sea eagle pushing the chick off the nest.

"I have never witnessed this kind of astonishing behaviour before in 30 plus years of observing them."

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