Golden Eagle found dead on Scottish estate


Golden Eagle thought to be from a project to boost numbers in southern Scotland has been found dead on an estate in Dumfries and Galloway.

The discovery was made by the gamekeeping team on the Queensberry Estate north of Dumfries on Saturday 11 February. They found the eagle on the ground and the police, who are now investigating, were informed immediately. The bird is suspected to be part of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project (SSGEP).

The gamekeeping team at Queensberry Estate discovered the dead Golden Eagle on 11 February (Steve Nicklin).

Buccleuch, which runs the estate, said the bird had no obvious signs of injury and tests were being carried out to establish the cause of death. Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, said: "Buccleuch works closely with the SSGEP in the local area and we are extremely proud of our record in recent years of helping rebuild the population.

"The bird was removed from the site on Saturday and is being tested to understand the cause of death. Our team will continue to offer any assistance it can on this matter."

The SSGEP stated it was "really sad" to confirm the death of a female eagle, known as B50. "The corpse had no obvious signs of injuries and is currently being tested for avian flu and other possible indicators, as is routine in such situations. We will comment again further when her cause of death has been confirmed."