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The hills are alive with eagles

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By Fiona Reid
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The hills are alive with eagles

THREE young Golden Eagles have been released in the Moffat Hills, it emerged this week.

And the eaglets, named Edward, Emily and Beaky by local schoolchildren, are said to be enjoying their freedom.

The release was the work of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project and was made possible by a Lottery and Leader funding. In a blog post on Tuesday, a project spokesman said: “All birds are currently doing well in their adopted homeland of the Moffat Hills.”

It is hoped the move will boost the bird population. According to the project website, the aim is to “reinforce the small, isolated and vulnerable population of Golden Eagles in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway” and “prevent the loss of this wonderful species from Southern Skies”.

The male and two female birds were brought down to the area from the Central Highlands earlier in the summer and settled for two months in custom built aviaries in a secret location, before they were released in stages at the end of July and early August. The website adds: “Golden Eagles have a long history in the South of Scotland. From east to west, populations were once healthy with the Golden Eagle playing an important part as an apex predator in the ecosystem. Over the last couple of centuries, human activity and changes in land use has caused populations in the south to fall as low as 3 breeding pairs. “Funded by Heritage Lottery and LEADER Scottish Borders and D&G, the project aims to bring together all countryside users to ensure the wellbeing and successful future of the Golden Eagle in the South of Scotland and to secure a place for this iconic symbol of wilderness and freedom for future generations to come.”

The eagles have been satellite tagged and daily updates, photos and video clips are being posted online.

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