248 pages, colour & b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables
This is a much-needed update on a pioneering reintroduction project and its much-celebrated success. It also provides essential background and a logical and objective summary of its justification and significance in global conservation terms. It is very much a personal account, although fundamentally based upon and cognisant of the science, deriving much from the author's own experiences and researches, and liberally illustrated mostly by the author's photographs and drawings.
This intimate account tells all that has happened since the reintroduction of the white-tailed sea eagle first began and exactly how its successes over the subsequent three and a half decades have received such worldwide recognition and acclaim. It describes the pioneering Rum releases (Phase 1) with which the author had been intimately involved, summaries of the Wester Ross (Phase 2) and East Scotland (Phase 3) releases with up-to-date information on the current Irish project in Kerry. A Saga of Sea Eagles includes a classification of the eagles and their folklore and information about the bird's history, distribution and biology including its breeding and feeding habits. The reader learns how the kudos of having sea eagles nesting locally has brought considerable economic benefit to Scottish communities, as it has in Norway and elsewhere.
"[...] Illustrated with an impressive number of colour photographs, it is written with humour and feeling and ends, as did the first book, on a positive note: All the efforts have been worthwhile.The future looks bright for the Sea Eagle."
- Carole Showell, BTO book reviews
"[...] This is an important little book, as much for its wealth of information and insight as for its value as a very detailed historical record. It is superbly illustrated, with masses of colour photographs and lots of the author ’s wonderful drawings. The saga of our Sea Eagles is now scattered across a great many formal and informal publications – we should be enormously grateful to John Love for pulling all these strands together for us, and for doing it so well."
- Mike Everett, Ibis 156, 2014
"I own a battered and well-thumbed copy of John Love’s book The Return of the Sea Eagle, published in 1983. It is an ex-library copy withdrawn from Sydney City Library in the late 1990s, though not before being borrowed many times – testament to the worldwide interest in the pioneering Sea Eagle (White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla) reintroduction project in Scotland. This new book brings the story up to date and includes much new material as well as repeating relevant sections from the earlier volume. It is very much a personal account with numerous anecdotes, personal reflections and a comprehensive selection of the author’s own photographs, spanning several decades of hands-on involvement in the project. [...] The book includes a comprehensive review of the diet and feeding behaviour of the Sea Eagle, including recent studies in western Scotland to investigate the potential for predation of lambs. These show that, while scavenging is commonplace, relatively few live lambs are taken and where this does occur it can be managed effectively through schemes to improve livestock husbandry. While the author is sympathetic towards those few people with a genuine problem he has grown rather weary of persistent attacks on the project based largely on exaggerated or inaccurate claims in the local media. He is freer to speak his mind than in 1983 and that helps to make this book a lively and interesting read."
- Ian Carter, www.britishbirds.co.uk, 12-12-2013
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John Love is a writer, illustrator and lecturer. He was appointed Manager of the Sea Eagle Reintroduction Project based on the Isle of Rum, 1975-85 and is a member of the UK Sea Eagle Project Team, advising on the later phases of the reintroduction. He was also formerly Area Officer for Uist, Barra and St. Kilda with Scottish Natural Heritage and now lectures on wildlife cruises. He is the author of the acclaimed The Return of the Sea Eagle and also A Natural History of Lighthouses.