A proposal to consider the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles to Norfolk has been making the news for a couple of weeks now, ever since the Wild Ken Estate launched a public consultation, backed by a number of local landowners, to gauge opinion and support (see here).
Not wanting to miss an opportunity for a bit of a Royal love-in, The Telegraph published this puff piece on Friday:
As so often with the Telegraph, there’s very little substance to support its claims, in this case that Sandringham and/or Prince Charles actually does ‘support’ a proposed reintroduction of white-tailed eagles to Norfolk. All it says is ‘The Daily Telegraph understands the royal residence run by the Prince of Wales is supportive of a scheme to return the white-tailed eagle to England‘.
Even the quote from the Sandringham Estate fails actually to mention sea eagles!
But perhaps things ARE changing at Sandringham. Perhaps the Sandringham Estate has moved on since being at the centre of numerous police investigations relating to birds of prey (e.g. see here, here, here, here). And perhaps if Charles really is in to conservation we’ll start to see some improvement in the management of his grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park (e.g. see here and here) as well as at Sandringham.
We can but hope.
Meanwhile, folk would do well to continue to view the Telegraph’s level of understanding with healthy scepticism. Have a look at this ridiculous map, published alongside the Sandringham piece:
I don’t know where the Telegraph is getting its ‘facts’ from but it doesn’t appear to be from someone with any insight.
Why on earth would juvenile eagles be ranging 100km offshore in the North Sea??
And if they think that 200km is the ranging distance of a dispersing white-tailed eagle they need to take a look at the behaviour of some of the eagles reintroduced to the Isle of Wight – one travelled over 400 miles to hang out in southern Scotland for a while!