White-tailed sea eagles have successfully bred in the East of mainland Scotland for the first time in nearly 20 years.
A pair released in 2009 as part of an RSPB reintroduction project, have raised one healthy male chick in a Fife woodland area.
Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “This chick marks a huge milestone in our partnership to restore white-tailed eagles to their former range in the south and east of the country.
“Young birds successfully released five to six years ago are now pairing up in the wild and we are very excited a chick from a nest in Fife has safely fledged. Our focus now will be to continue monitoring this youngster and the other east coast birds with the expectation of more breeding attempts next year.”
This type of eagle is the largest bird of prey in the British Isles. Once a regular sight in Scotland, the birds were driven to extinction in the early 20th century. The last native white-tailed eagle was killed in Shetland almost 100 years ago.
There are now 42 breeding pairs in Scotland, each doing their best to re-establish the species in the country and their progress being monitored closely by volunteers.
RSPB Scotland started the joint project to reintroduce the birds with their Norwegian colleagues 30 years ago.