The first ever footage of an eaglet hatching in the UK was captured through a live streamed video on Friday evening.
The live feed was streamed directly to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Abernethy nature reserve for visitors to enjoy in the moment.
The eggs of two white-tailed eagles were first spotted in a nest in the Cairngorms last Thursday before the first egg hatched on Friday evening.
The hatching was streamed live to the Loch Garten Nature Centre by a hidden camera on a stick three metres away from the nest – the first time this method has ever been used in the UK.
Fergus Cumberland, Visitor Experience Manager for RSPB Scotland, said, “The response to the eagles from the public has been one of excitement and anticipation.
“The true character and personalities of these birds are on full display for the public to experience and it is a wonder to watch it all unfold.
“Now to see that they’ve hatched their first chick is incredible. We feel so privileged to have been able to witness such a special moment.”
Britain’s largest bird of prey
White-tailed eagles, who are also known as sea eagles, have a wingspan of 2.5 making them Britain’s largest bird of prey.
In 1918, they were driven to extinction in Scotland before birds from Scandinavia were re-introduced to the Isle of Rum in 1975.
The newly hatched chick is a descendant of these re-introduced birds, who now spread all across Scotland.
After hatching, white-tailed eaglets usually don’t fly the nest for around 12 weeks and tend to remain close to the nest and their offspring throughout autumn before seeking their own territory.
Jess Tomes, Abernethy Site Manager for People at RSPB Scotland, said: “The next two weeks are critical for this young eagle as they are unable to regulate their own body temperature for the first few days and are totally dependent on their parents to shelter them from the worst of a Cairngorms spring.
“It’ll be a very tense time for all watching but we welcome everybody to visit us at the Nature Centre and experience these incredible moments.”
To avoid disturbance of the birds, the exact location of the nest has not been disclosed to the public.
Visitors to RSPB Scotland’s Loch Garten Nature Centre can view the live feed daily throughout the spring and summer.