5 December 2022

Meet Elizabeth - our youngest Golden Eagle Champion!


by Rick T.

5 December 2022

Meet Elizabeth Lyon, the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project's youngest Eagle Champion and daughter of Ralia Estate's former Head Keeper Alastair Lyon.

Ralia Estates donated the very first young Eagle to be collected in 2021 - a young male who was later named 'Shine' (B44) by Philiphaigh Primary School in Selkirk.

Visit Shine's blog HERE

Elizabeth joined the collection team in March 2021 when her father assisted the project with the very first collection of the season. Elizabeth and Helen Gray used telescopes and binoculars to observe the collection from across the loch as the team, assisted by the kind offer of a boat from Alastair, quickly accessed the nest.

After her exciting and inspiring experience, Elizabeth wrote the following to share with her classmates at school in the hope of inspiring their own interest in the Golden Eagles on their doorstep and how they are helping to address the small number of Golden Eagles in the south.

In her role as an Eagle Champion, Elizabeth has gone on to learn more about Golden Eagles and regularly shares her knowledge and experience with her fellow students and students at Philiphaigh Primary, who are now linked to Newtonmore, Elizabeth's school.

In early 2022, Elizabeth added the following to her story:

‘Since my amazing experience seeing the golden eagle fledgling Shine up close, I have been wondering about him and how all the other young eagles live.
A young eagle is becoming a powerful bird. It has very sharp talons(claws) to catch prey. Its diet is hares, rabbits and squirrels. When golden eagles are young, they are developing their muscles and full plumage (feathers)
Shine has experienced his first winter. He would have hunted less in the rough weather and sometimes he would feed on crows. An adult eagle weighs 3.7kg and its wingspan is 2.0m
I am wondering how big he is now after a year in the wild, I hope he is enjoying himself’
Elizabeth Lyon 8 years old

Above: Shine B44 - (Photo:John Wright) / Below: Shine B44 (flying) with a 1 year old female (Photo: Rick Taylor)

Wonder no more Elizabeth! Shine is doing fantastically well, as are all of the young eagles in the south!

Community Outreach Officer Rick Taylor recently came across Shine flying above a one year old female Eagle on the way to Moffat (he was displaying - also known as showing off!) and Eagle Officer John Wright still sees him regularly as he monitors the youngsters.

A huge thank you to Elizabeth for her wonderful contribution to this blog and her work as an Eagle Champion!!

Massive thanks to Ralia Estate and to Alastair and Helen for all of their help and support!