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You may find this information helpful when researching the area prior to your visit

Golden eagle - Aquila chrysaetos

A huge bird of prey, with only the white-tailed eagle larger in the UK. With its long broad wings and longish tail, it has a different outline to the smaller buzzard. It likes to soar and glide on air currents, holding its wings in a shallow 'V'. Eagles have traditional territories and nesting places which may be used by generations. they have been persecuted in the past and are still occasionally poisoned, or have their nests robbed.

Where does it live?

Inhabits high moorland, mountains and remote islands where there are plenty of open areas to feed over. Tends to avoid places with large areas of forestry.

Where to see it

It lives in the wild, open moorlands and mountains of Scotland, favouring islands and remote glens. Best looked for soaring high over hillsides in the Scottish Highlands.

Behaviour

Golden eagles are usually seen singly or in pairs. They tend to remain within their home range throughout the year, but may have to range more widely in the winter if food shortages occur. Seldom if ever do they congregate at a food source.

Each territory contains several night roosts, of which the most sheltered one is usually chosen. During the day, the birds spend long periods of time loafing on a perch with a good outlook. Territory is defended against any other eagles.

In the UK the golden eagle and white-tailed eagle live in mutually exclusive home-ranges, unlike in Norway, where the two species can readily coexist. The diets of the two species are very similar in the UK, and there is prominent competition for food between the species. When in direct competition for carcasses in the winter, golden eagles are strongly dominant over white-tailed eagles. Being stronger fliers, golden eagles also prevail in aerial conflicts. However, despite being inferior in direct conflict, white-tailed eagle is overall the dominant species of the two, and can oust golden eagles from their home ranges. They are more tenacious, have a wider diet and can survive on less food than the golden eagle. Competition for nest sites is unlikely to be important, since white-tailed eagles nest preferentially in trees and golden eagles on cliff ledges. The great similarity in the diet and the apparent inability of the two eagles to coexist in western Scotland has been brought about by several centuries of deforestation and overgrazing, which has impoverished and degraded the habitat, reducing its ability to support higher densities of these top predators.

Did you know

The golden eagles scientific name chrysaetos comes from two Greek words, khrusos meaning gold and aetos meaning eagle. Best looked for soaring high over hillsides in the Scottish Highlands. The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is a member of the Booted or True Eagles family. Golden eagles can be found throughout much of the northern hemisphere. It lives in mountainous areas, prairie coulees, and other places where rugged terrain creates abundant updrafts. Adult golden eagles are brown with tawny on the back of the head and neck; tail faintly banded.

The eagle has been depicted with a snake in art and legend for centuries - together they represent the sky and the earth.

Eagles in general have been symbols of strength, speed, fierceness and a long keen sight. An eagle is the symbol of the USA (in this case the bald eagle), one of Britains biggest banking groups, and an insurance company. It was one of the four beasts of Revelations in the Bible and assigned to St John, the bearer of the Word, and is extensively rep resented on church lecterns. Mull and its islands have been continually inhabited since they became environ ments able to support man after the Ice Age. C. 6500 - 3500 BC. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers lived in caves such as Livingston's cave on Ulva. C. 4000 - 2000 BC Neolithic farmers people lived here leaving behind burial cairns and stone axes. C. 2500 - 600 BC.