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RSPB Loch Garten broadcasts first live footage of white-tailed eagle egg hatching

By Lewis McBlane

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AN RSPB site in the Cairngorms has broadcast the first ever live footage of a white-tailed eagle egg hatching.

A female white-tailed eagle incubates two eggs, as a male stands by...Picture: Jess Tomes.
A female white-tailed eagle incubates two eggs, as a male stands by...Picture: Jess Tomes.

The rare footage of the UK's largest bird of prey was livestreamed to the RSPB Loch Garten Nature Centre using a high definition webcam.

On the evening of Friday, April 8, the the nest's first egg, spotted in March, hatched.

In a UK first, the footage was shot using a camera hidden inside a stick and placed three meters away from the nest.

Now, following the hatching, visitors to the Abernethy site could enjoy live video of the baby eagle – or even another live hatching.

Fergus Cumberland, Visitor Experience Manager for RSPB Scotland, said: “The response to the eagles from the public has been one of excitement and anticipation.

"The true character and personalities of these birds are on full display for the public to experience and it is a wonder to watch it all unfold.

"Now to see that they’ve hatched their first chick is incredible.

"We feel so privileged to have been able to witness such a special moment.”

The birds had been battling since March to protect the egg from wind, sleet and snow.

The young eaglet, which will grow to have a 2.5 meter wingspan, will remain in the nest being fed by its parents for around 12 weeks.

Jess Tomes, Abernethy Site Manager for People at RSPB Scotland, said, “The next two weeks are critical for this young eagle as they are unable to regulate their own body temperature for the first few days and are totally dependent on their parents to shelter them from the worst of a Cairngorms spring.

"It’ll be a very tense time for all watching but we welcome everybody to visit us at the Nature Centre and experience these incredible moments!”

To disturbing the birds, the exact location of the nest is not public.

Visitors to RSPB Scotland’s Loch Garten Nature Centre can view the live feed daily throughout the spring and summer.

Highlights and updates will be provided on the RSPB Loch Garten Twitter and Facebook pages.

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