Following information provided by the RSPB, BBRC decided, at the last AGM, to stop considering White-tailed Eagles from 1st January 1999.

In the last few years there have been at least 34 eagles fledged in Scotland which have not been wing-tagged and this number represents a fair proportion of the successful fledglings.

Recent research from Norway, however, has shown that immature White-tailed Eagles wander a lot further than was originally thought.. We appreciate that this decision is going to be a disappointment to many birders but we feel it is an inevitable consequence of the success of the release scheme. It has been shown that Scottish birds have wandered as far as south as Glasgow and Perthshire, north to Shetland and east as Deeside with one even reaching Norway! So far, there has never been a reliable sighting of a wing-tagged bird in England or Ireland although one of the colour-ringed Rhum birds was found in England.

This has led to the situation where birds in Shetland, where genuine vagrants from the increasing populations in Scandinavia are likely to occur, are regarded as ‘from the re-introduction scheme’. Similar birds in England and Wales do not suffer this reaction, even though we know wing-tagged birds are capable of wandering much further than this from their natal area.

As the numbers of non wing-tagged Scottish birds has increased the problem of establishing the origins of many birds has also increased to a point where BBRC now considers it a fruitless exercise to attempt to differentiate genuine vagrants from re-introduced birds.

White-tailed Eagle is an amazing bird to find and, undoubtedly, genuine vagrants do occur and although we appreciate that this decision may disappoint many birders we feel that this is an inevitable consequence of the success of the re-introduction scheme.