Image for Big birds

Big birds

Duration: 04:46

Skye is the largest and best known island of the Inner Hebrides. It has impressive mountains and 1,000 miles of beautiful coastline. It is easy to get to by ferry or the Skye road-bridge. Mike Dilger stops at Portree, a fishing port, to collect some fish. He's hoping to get close to a magnificent bird that was hunted to extinction in the UK 100 years ago, so he's on a boat trip with Alison McLennan, RSPB conservation officer for Skye. After successful reintroduction there are now 30 pairs of white-tailed sea eagles breeding in western Scotland. They have a wingspan over two metres, with the female's being 2.4 metres which makes them the UK's largest bird and the fourth largest raptor in the world. The eagles are perched on the cliffs near their nest, which has three chicks in it. Mike throws fish into the sea for the eagles to swoop down and take. With three chicks to feed, the eagles are quick off the mark. The RSPB gives the white-tailed sea eagles food in late spring, when they are nesting. The eagles whiffle like geese to lose height before extending their talons and snatching the fish off the water.

Available since: Thu 26 Jan 2012


Chris Packham
Mike Dilger
Janet Sumner
Jonathan Bigwood
Jane French
Jenny Craddock
Paul Greenan

This clip is from

Nature's Calendar Series 1, Spring: Islands

The team goes island-hopping as Chris Packham meets the legendary golden hares of Rathlin.

First broadcast: 26 Feb 2007

Image for Spring: Islands Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.