The golden eagle is one of the largest and most impressive of British birds, especially when seen soaring over a Highland glen or searching for prey over a hillside, with deep leisurely wingbeats.

Threats Today

Although the golden eagle is a protected species, it is still threatened by various factors. A few eagles are killed when they eat poisoned sheep carcasses put out to kill foxes. A serious threat is habitat destruction when forestry plantations take over the open areas over which the eagle likes to hunt.

Some pairs of eagles fail to breed or successfully rear their young when they are unintentionally disturbed by too many walkers or climbers passing close to their nests, especially in the Cairngorms area and Central Highlands. It is important, therefore, to control the development of tourism.

The collection of eggs, or eaglets, is still a serious threat too. There are laws, with fines, to stop this, but it is almost impossible to keep a constant watch on all nests in such remote areas.

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