By 1918 landowners and gamekeepers in Scotland had exterminated this magnificent bird that feeds mainly on carrion, In your bird guide you will find that they are listed with the European vultures not the eagles. Forty years ago a project began to re-introduce the white tailed eagle to Scotland by importing young birds from Norway where they are relatively common.
From small beginnings on the Isle of Rhum National Nature Reserve the birds now hold an estimated 65 territories on the east and west coasts. On a warm windless day like yesterday visitors to Ardnamurchan can be almost guaranteed to see whitetails soaring over the coast on their three metre wings. Mull is one of their strongholds but they do seem to like a day out here on the peninsula.
March is a tough time for hill sheep and red deer, they are at their weakest after the winter, quality food is scarce and the weather can be horrendous so there is lots of carrion. Hamsa captured the white tail in the picture feeding on a badger carcass with a trail camera one day last week.
These birds are smart as well as strong. During the stalking season from September until February they turn up in response to a rifle shot because they have learned that there will soon be fresh "gralloch" to eat. (Gralloch is the deer's internal organs that are left behind on the hill by the stalkers before the carcass is taken away.)