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Injured sea eagle may have been struck by wind turbine, RSPB says

A serious head injury caused to a sea eagle found stricken on Scottish moorland may have been caused by a wind turbine, the RSPB has said.

The protected predator is the largest bird of prey in the UK.

Its huge wingspan means it is sometimes called the “flying barn door”.

It was hunted to extinction around a century ago but gradually reintroduced over a period of decades from the 1970s onwards.

The Scottish SPCA was called out to moorland on a “remote” part of the Isle of Lewis when one sea eagle was found with a head injury on August 10.

It is now recovery after veterinary care. Auxiliary inspector Maggie Adkins said: “On arrival it was clear the eagle had a serious head injury and it was also being eaten alive by midges.

“It was found in a remote part of the island close to a large wind turbine so this is likely to have been the cause of its injuries.

“I immediately took the bird to the Old Mill Vet Practice, where it was given pain relief and medication.

“After an x-ray, thankfully no breakages were found but the bird had severe bruising to the body as well as head trauma.”

The bird, which was born on Lewis in June 2009, had fitted with a leg ring and tracker by the RSPB.

That charity’s representative, Robin Reid, said: “The population of white-tailed eagles on the Isle of Lewis has been increasing in recent years following their successful re-introduction to Scotland.

“However, it is concerning that this injured bird has been found close to a wind farm.

“We know the species is susceptible to collisions with wind turbines and we are concerned about the impact of further proposed wind farms in the area.”

Members of the public who see injured, sick or distressed animals are asked to call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.