Skye bird guide to Golden Eagles

With around 30 pairs of Golden Eagles breeding on Skye you have a reasonably good chance of seeing these majestic yet elusive birds.  This Skye bird guide to Golden Eagles suggests how you can shorten the odds in your favour.  

Golden Eagles are distributed across the whole island although parts of central Skye and the Cuillins are designated as a Special Protection Area for the birds. They favour wild places, high moorlands and rocky mountains – places that are difficult to get to and free from disturbance.

The birds are incredibly vulnerable to human disturbance in the breeding season and so no detailed information about where you might see them can be given.  However, by selecting a good vantage point in suitable countryside the chances of seeing them increase significantly.

You’ll need binoculars and, preferably, a telescope to get a better view.  Happily, guests staying at Springbank Elgol, our Skye self catering holiday cottage, have exclusive use of both which are provided as part of our environmental activities offer.

So, where to choose to look?  Your vantage point needs to be high enough to give you a good view of the surrounding countryside.  It needs to overlook a reasonably good expanse of moorland but you need to be as inconspicuous as you can – don’t sit on the skyline, for example, sit just below it.  In the south of Skye, the Kylerhea hills offer good potential as do the Red Hills around Torrin and the Suardal hills off the Broadford to Elgol road.  A day visit to Loch Coruisk in the Cuillins is another option but you’ll need to get well away from the boat trip visitors.

A massive amount of patience, sharp eyes, good optics and, probably most of all, good luck are required for Golden Eagle spotting but the reward of a sighting will be well worth the effort.