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White-tailed eagles raising twins on Hoy during lockdown

Adult female white-tailed eagle coming into the nest in 2018. (Ian Cunningham)

The resident pair of white-tailed eagles in Hoy are currently raising two chicks, RSPB Scotland has announced.

2020 will be the third time this pair has got to the rearing of chicks stage during the breeding season, with two previous failures on eggs and one year where they did not attempt.

This year’s young are thought to be just over a month old and after last weekend’s wild weather, it is hoped that all remains well in the nest.

They have moved back to the 2018 eyrie on the Dwarfie Hamars, where they successfully fledged two young: Bakko and Craggie. There have been no recent sightings of the three young birds fledged from Hoy in the last three years including Grizela in 2019.

It is hoped that they are spreading their wings and socialising with other eagles in the remoter parts of Scotland, gaining experience before they settle to breed themselves once a little more mature.

This year’s Eaglewatch, providing the public glimpses of the eagles in Hoy, would have been in its sixth season.

RSPB welcomed 6,000 visits to the site in 2019 with 27 volunteers helping to facilitate visitors see the eagles and other local wildlife.