Sea Eagles

The White-tailed Eagle is Britain’s biggest bird of prey and  this Skye bird guide to Sea Eagles outlines how best to see them on Skye.

Will I see sea eagles on Skye?

Skye and the West Coast of Scotland is one of the best places to see them in the UK.  The birds were re-introduced into the UK on the island of Rum and the birds quickly colonised Skye.

What do sea eagles eat?

Sea eagles prey on small mammals as well as fish which are taken from the surface of the water in a lethal swoop.  The birds are huge with a wingspan of up to 8 feet.  Its broad, powerful wings – often described as being like barn doors – allow it to soar effortlessly while searching for food.

How can I see a sea eagle?

Skye has a good population and there’s every chance of seeing one around the coast, especially if you are patient and find a good cliff-top vantage point to look out from. The cliff tops around the Storr Lochs area being as good a place as any.

You’ll need binoculars and a telescope to get the best views.  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.

It can’t be stressed too much that Sea Eagles are always vulnerable to disturbance at nest sites and so we can’t provide any information about specific locations but they are out there and your patience will be rewarded.  Good luck!

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 the early days of the sea eagle re-introduction programme there’s a copy of The Return of the Sea Eagle (Love, Cambridge University Press) in the cottage for guests.

Take a boat trip

A very reliable way of seeing sea eagles is to take a boat trip from Portree.  The crew throws fish into the water in order to get the birds to swoop down from the cliffs and grab an easy meal.  The promotional shot from MV Brigadoon gives some idea of what you might see.

White-tailed eagle by MV Brigadoon.

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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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