Visitors to Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight will get the chance to meet a rare 10-month-old white-tailed sea eagle named Chief when the nature park reopens to the public on Wednesday 19th May.
Offering an exciting opportunity to see the UK’s largest bird of prey up close, the park hopes to educate visitors on the magnificent eagle species that became extinct nearly 200 years ago.
Chief will join a team of over 30 birds looked after by 22-year-old Charlie Rolle, one of the Isle of Wight’s youngest qualified falconers, who will train the young sea eagle to fly and express his natural behaviours.
Native to the UK, the white-tailed sea eagle has a wingspan of 8 feet and a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Although Chief doesn’t have his ‘white tail’ yet, this will grow as he gets older.
Once widespread along the whole of the South Coast of England, from Cornwall to Kent, white-tailed sea eagles were driven to extinction by a persecution that began in the Middle Ages. The last pair to breed in southern England nested on Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight in 1780, just a few miles from Robin Hill.
A successful reintroduction of the species has now taken place in Scotland, where there are more than 130 pairs, with ongoing programmes in Ireland and on the Isle of Wight planning to release 60 birds across a five-year period.
Robin Hill is set within 88-acres of rolling parkland and natural woodland and reopens to the public on Wednesday 19th May. To book tickets go to https://robin-hill.com/
All images © Robin Hill