White-tailed eagles have been spotted in England for the first time in 240 years

Lisa Walden
Photo credit: Sjo - Getty Images

From Country Living

White-tailed eagles — one of the largest birds of prey with a 2.5-metre wingspan — have been spotted for the first time in 240 years soaring above the North York Moors.

The incredible creatures, also known as Sea Eagles, went extinct in England in the early 20th century due to illegal killing. But thanks to a pioneering project by Forestry England and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, there is new hope for the majestic birds.

Last August, six eaglets were released in the Isle of Wight as part of a five-year plan to eventually introduce 60 birds to the coasts, cliffs, woodlands and estuaries around the Solent. The project tracks the young birds as they make their first big trips around the UK.

Want to see where the eagles have travelled from the comfort of your own home? You can spot their movements on the interactive map.

Photo credit: Wolfgang Kaehler - Getty Images

Campaigners are now calling on people to help record sightings of the white-tailed eagles. The Roy Dennis Foundation explain on their website: "If you are lucky enough to see a white-tailed eagle over your garden, please send us the details using our new online reporting form.

"Given the way these birds readily travel over towns, villages and even cities, there is a chance of seeing one wherever you live – so keep looking up, but please do stay at home and stay safe."

Want to get involved? Some of their key features to look out for include...

  • The white-tailed eagle has broader wings than the Golden Eagle
  • Adults have a white, wedge-shaped tail
  • They have a pale head with a yellow bill
Photo credit: Harald Wesenberg - Getty Images

You can find out more about the project on the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation website.

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