Jura has its fair share of golden eagles and when you make a trip over the island you are likely to see one of these majestic birds, not to be confused with Buzzards though. I happen to know someone on Islay who calls Buzzards “tourist eagles” because tourists often mistake buzzards for golden eagles. It happened to me as well but when you had the fortune of seeing real golden eagles in the wild you know the difference, at least for a while! The reason for this post is the fact that I picked up a story at For Argyll, the news site for Argyll and Bute. According to the article the oldest known wild golden eagle in the UK has been found dead on Jura. Of course it is a sad thing that it happened but on the other hand becoming 22 years old is a positive sign as well for an eagle. The previous known oldest eagle in the UK was only 16 years old. A quote from the article:
The bird, which may have been a male or a female, was ringed on Mull in 1987 by RSPB Scotland’s Roger Broad, when it was still a tiny chick and too young to be sexed. Its body was discovered on North Jura earlier this year by a member of the public, who then reported the find to Roger. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) have since confirmed that this is the oldest known ringed golden eagle in the UK. Dave Sexton, RSPB Scotland Mull Officer, said: ‘It’s amazing to think how long eagles can survive if left to get on with things in the wild. Their longevity is balanced by the fact that they only have one or two chicks each year, and don’t start breeding until they’re five years old. That’s why the population of any eagle can suffer so dramatically when the adult birds are taken out by poisoning or other unnatural means. But it’s great to think that this bird lived out its days in relative peace, and still almost in sight of the nest it hatched out of on Mull all those years ago’.