The Eagle With The Sunlit Eye
White tailed sea eagle with fish - Isle of Mull, Scotland
These birds have a special place in my heart. As an RAF navigator in the 1980s, newly arrived on my first squadron at RAF Kinloss in Scotland, one of the first sorties I flew was to Stavangar in Norway, to collect rather an unusual cargo - crates of live sea eagle chicks.
White-tailed eagles became extinct in the UK as a result of extensive habitat change and persecution. Before their recent re-introduction, the birds last bred in England and Wales in the 1830s, in Ireland in 1898 and in Scotland in 1916.
The last UK-bred bird was shot in Shetland in 1918. European populations of this bird also suffered from heavy persecution, which led to significant declines and extinction in several countries.
A number of reintroduction programmes were run in more recent times. In 1968 small-scale attempts were made to introduce these birds in Argyll and Fair Isle. The government’s Nature Conservancy Council initiated a full-scale programme of releases, bringing 82 young birds from Norwegian nests to Rum between 1975 and 1985. Some of these birds eventually made their home on the Isle of Mull. So, whenever I visit Mull and see a sea eagle, I feel a sense of pride that I was (in a small way) responsible for it being there.
The sea eagle is the fourth largest eagle in the world, and is our largest bird of prey, with a wingspan of nearly two and a half metres. The mature sea eagle has a greyish brown plumage with a pale head, reminiscent of its famous close relative, the bald eagle, national symbol of the USA. One striking feature is its yellow eye from which it gains a poetic Gaelic name Iolairesuilnagreine ‘the eagle with the sunlit eye’. Its beak and talons are also bright yellow.
All the photographs you see here are being sold as limited editions. Each one will be delivered with its own certificate, showing the edition number and my signature. Each certificate is embossed with a unique holographic authentication stamp.
Each photograph is Giclée printed on Canson Baryta Fine Art Paper. This is a pure white Baryta base archival quality paper with excellent black density, contrast and reproduction of detail. The Baryta base creates whiter whites and deeper blacks whilst the silky smooth reflective coating enhances the detail and definition of the images. Take care when handling your prints as it is a sensitive paper. A border has been added to the S, M & L prints to make framing easier.
Please see the Print Sizing Guide.