30 April 2024

Meet Haworth


by Rick T.

30 April 2024

Haworth (164) is a young male eagle, collected from a tree nest in the Central Highlands on the 30th May 2023, the earliest collection in project history. He was released on the 19th July 2023 alongside male eagles Donald (F47), Maple (F24) and Emiel (F27), weighing 4.1kg.

The collection team consisted of project staff, climbers Ian Perks and Fraser McCormack, and raptor worker Stuart Benn.

Haworth was named after the late Dr Paul F. Haworth, who’s outstanding work was integral to the foundation of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project. Paul passed away on July 28th 2018 aged 67.

Committed to understanding the ecology and conservation of birds of prey, Paul made key inroads in advancing the care of the uplands of Britain and Ireland while working on the western edge of the Ross of Mull, in a cottage formerly occupied by a gamekeeper.

He was regularly commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) – now NatureScot - to survey remote reaches of the Highlands and Islands and to plot the nesting sites of rare raptors, especially eagles, hen harriers and merlin.

Project manager Dr Cat Barlow said:

Paul and his great friend Dr Alan Fielding wrote the foundation report in 2014 which detailed the potential for the south of Scotland to hold up to 16 pairs of golden eagles. That report, and a later one by Paul and Alan on potential food supplies, inspired us to crack on with the reinforcement of the small, fragmented population.

Des Thompson, for many years Principal Adviser on Biodiversity and Science with NatureScot, was a close friend of Paul’s, and comments:

Having this golden eagle named after Paul is a very special moment for the Project. Paul breathed life into the Project, and through excellent skills as a scientist and communicator, he mobilised great support for the work. Now we have a bird born in the Highlands and established in south Scotland which we hope will enjoy decades of freedom, and thrill local and visiting people.”

Raptor worker Stuart Benn, who monitored this particularly early nest, said:

‘I have monitored the pair of parents for several years and they have always been early nesters but I got a bit of a shock when I found them incubating on 15 March. However, going on the age of the chicks the eggs were probably laid in late February several weeks before most other eagles. The SSGEP team were rather taken aback when I gave them the news and they had to speed up preparations for the 2023 intake as Haworth would be collected well before any of the previous birds. But it all worked out fine and it was great to see the first bird safely down south before May was out’.

Above: Haworth (164) being mobbed by Meadow Pipits - Late August 2023 - Photo- John Wright / SSGEP

You can find out more about Paul’s incredible contribution to upland conservation at the link below:

Obituary: Paul F. Haworth, ecologist and raptor expert | HeraldScotland