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.


Pesticide Pollution

During the 1960s many golden eagles, as well as most other birds of prey, were affected by pollution from dangerous chemicals, such as DDT, which entered the food chains in their habitat. The eagles, being at the top of the food chains, were taking in considerable quantities of the chemical from their prey; this either made them infertile or caused their egg shells to be so thin that they broke when the birds tried to incubate them. Another chemical, dieldrin, used as a sheep dip to kill ticks and fleas, had the same effect when the eagles fed on dead sheep. Fortunately, when the danger of these pesticides was realised, they were banned and since then the eagle has recovered in numbers to some extent. In 2014 there were 440 pairs of Golden Eagles in the UK.

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