Wildlife

Loch Awe supports an enormous and diverse range of wildlife, some of the more unusual types of wildlife you might expect to see in the area are listed below. 

Golden Eagle

 

The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed species of eagle. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.

 

 

 

 

These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their napes. There are at leasta couple of pairs now living and breeding around Loch Awe.

 

Immature eagles of this species typically have white on the tail and often have white markings on the wings. Golden eagles use their agility and speed combined with powerful feet and massive, sharp talons to snatch up a variety of prey (mainly hares, rabbits, marmots and other ground squirrels).

 

Golden eagles maintain home ranges or territories that may be as large as 200 km2 (77 sq mi). They build large nests in high places (mainly cliffs) to which they may return for several breeding years. Most breeding activities take place in the spring; they are monogamous and may remain together for several years or possibly for life. Females lay up to four eggs, and then incubate them for six weeks. Typically, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months. These juvenile golden eagles usually attain full independence in the fall, after which they wander widely until establishing a territory for themselves in four to five years.

 

Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many areas which are now more heavily populated by humans. Despite being extirpated from or uncommon in some of its former range, the species is still fairly ubiquitous, being present in sizeable stretches of Eurasia, North America, and parts of North Africa. It is the largest and least populous of the five species of true accipitrid to occur as a breeding species in both the Palearctic and the Nearctic.

For centuries, this species has been one of the most highly regarded birds used in falconry, f with the Eurasian subspecies having been used to hunt and kill prey such as gray wolves (Canis lupus) in some native communities. Due to its hunting prowess, the golden eagle is regarded with great mystic reverence in some ancient, tribal cultures. The golden eagle is one of the most extensively studied species of raptor in the world in some parts of its range, such as the Western United States and the Western Palearctic.

Osprey

 

The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) — also called fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk — is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey with a cosmopolitan range. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.

 

The osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica, although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding migrant.

As its other common names suggest, the osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish. It possesses specialised physical characteristics and exhibits unique behaviour to assist in hunting and catching prey. As a result of these unique characteristics, it has been given its own taxonomic genus, Pandion and family, Pandionidae. Four subspecies are usually recognized, one of which has recently been given full species status. Despite its propensity to nest near water, the osprey is not classed as a sea eagle.

Pine Marten

 

Pine marten" redirects here. For the North American pine marten, see American marten. For the Newfoundland subspecies, see Newfoundland pine marten.
The European pine marten (Martes martes), known most commonly as the pine marten in Anglophone Europe, and less commonly also known as pineten, baum marten, or sweet marten[full citation needed], is an animal native to Northern Europe belonging to the mustelid family, which also includes mink, otter, badger.

White Tailed Eagle (Fish Eagle)

 

NOT native to Scoltand, however it has  been reintroduced to the Isle of Mull, and in very recent years has now been seen fishing in Loch Awe.  White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) are also known as sea eagle, erne (sometimes ern, ørn), gray sea eagle, and white-tailed sea-eagle — is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes other raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers. It is considered a close cousin of the bald eagle and occupies the same ecological niche, but in Eurasia.

 

 

 

The genus name Haliaeetus is New Latin for "sea-eagle", from Ancient Greek hali-, "sea-" and aetos, "eagle". The specific albicilla, "white-tailed", is from New Latin albi-, "white" and cilla, "tail". 

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