25 January 2024

Meet Maple


by Rick T.

25 January 2024

Maple (F24) is a young male eagle translocated from a tree nest on the beautiful Strathspey Estate on the 22nd June. After sharing an aviary with another young male Talla (F15), he was released on 19th July weighing 3.8kg.

Maple was named and adopted by pupils from the Vancouver Waldorf School in British Columbia, Canada who visited the south of Scotland in early summer last year for their international service trip.

Partnering with neighbouring conservation projects and working closely with students and teachers, the SSGEP planned excursions and volunteering opportunities that would showcase the beautiful Southern Uplands and the breadth of restoration projects underway. Pupils volunteered with John Muir Trust and Borders Forest Trust undertaking tree planting and maintenance as well as learning about conservation efforts to restore native woodland. They also took part in restoring drystone walls under the guidance of local ‘dyker’, Neil Moffat. Rounding off their trip was a guided walk up to Grey Mare's Tail led by SSGEP staff. Not only did they enjoy the breathtaking scenery but also a distant view of a golden eagle; B44, Shine!

Class teacher and trip leader Gwen Elliott said:

At first, we thought that naming the eagle in honour of the beautiful landscape of the Scottish Borders would be nice and would reflect both the habitat over which the eagle soars and everything we learned about the south of Scotland's wild places. We came up with Willow or Heather. But, then we thought about how beautiful it would be to name the eagle something that would reflect the environment here in Canada, so that a little bit of our landscape could soar over Scotland's in memory of our trip. We settled on maple; the maple leaf being the national symbol of Canada. Maple also works for a male or female Golden Eagle. Thank you for the very special honour of naming one of the eagles!

The collection team was assisted by raptor worker Keith Duncan of the Highland Raptor Study Group and head keeper and stalker Ewan Archer with vet Anna Meredith and climbers Lewis and Rachel Pate.

Estate Head Keeper and Stalker, Ewan Archer for Strathspey Estate said:

"With the Estate having another year of successful breeding of both pairs of Golden Eagles and the White-tailed Eagle pair we agreed that the translocation of one of the Golden Eagle chicks was important to the conservation of the species and were pleased to be able to help with the project’s work in reintroduction and bolstering of the Golden Eagle in the south west of Scotland."

Raptor Worker Keith Duncan said:

It was a lovely day to be out in the field with Strathspey Estate and project team members helping to collect F24. The golden eagle population in this part of the Highlands is increasing and twin chicks are not uncommon. It is therefore very rewarding to collect a chick for translocation to the South of Scotland and help raise a critically low population to its highest numbers in 300 years.

A huge thank you to Strathspey Estates, the Highland Raptor Study group and Keith Duncan for their assistance in this collection and to Vancouver Waldorf School for Maple’s beautiful name.

Visit Strathspey Estates HERE