Golden Eagles

With around 30 pairs of Golden Eagles breeding on Skye you have a reasonably good chance of seeing these majestic yet elusive birds.  This Skye bird guide to Golden Eagles suggests how you can shorten the odds in your favour.

Where will I see Golden Eagles on Skye?

Golden Eagles are distributed across the whole island although parts of central Skye and the Cuillins are designated as a Special Protection Area for the birds. They favour wild places, high moorlands and rocky mountains.  Places that are difficult to get to and are free from disturbance.

How can I see Golden Eagles on Skye?

The birds are incredibly vulnerable to human disturbance in the breeding season.  We cannot give any detailed information about where you might see them. However, by selecting a good vantage point in suitable countryside the chances of seeing them increase significantly.

So, where to choose to look?  Your vantage point needs to be high enough to give you a good view of the surrounding countryside.  It needs to overlook a reasonably good expanse of moorland.  You need to be as inconspicuous as you can – don’t sit on the skyline, for example, sit just below it.  In the south of Skye, the Kylerhea hills offer good potential as do the Red Hills around Torrin and the Suardal hills off the Broadford to Elgol road.  A day visit to Loch Coruisk in the Cuillins is another option but you’ll need to get well away from the boat trip visitors.

A massive amount of patience, sharp eyes, good optics and, probably most of all, good luck are required for Golden Eagle spotting but the reward of a sighting will be well worth the effort.

Golden Eagle – courtesy of

You’ll need binoculars and, preferably, a telescope to get a better view.  Happily, guests staying at Springbank Elgol, our Skye self catering holiday cottage, have exclusive use of both which are provided as part of our environmental activities offer.

Be sure to record your sightings of birds at British Trust for Ornithology  and become a citizen scientist!

If you want to know more about Golden Eagles,  Island Eagles (Crane and Nellist, Cartwheeling Press, 1999) is the definitive work on Skye’s eagles.  There’s a copy at the cottage for our guests.

So, if you are thinking about a trip to Skye and you want more than just a standard€ holiday cottage, take a closer look.  We hope you will be surprised by how much is on offer during a stay at Springbank Cottage.

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