After a 240-year hiatus, white-tailed eagles are coming back to southern England

A lot is riding on the wings of six baby sea eagles released on the Isle of Wight. They are pioneers of a project to bring the birds back to southern England.

For centuries, there’s been an eagle-shaped hole in the skies over England where the majestic white-tailed eagle once soared. The enormous raptor — its wingspan stretches nearly eight feet — was hunted to extinction some 240 years ago.

“They are a missing part of England’s native biodiversity and were lost entirely through human activities, particularly intense persecution,” notes the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to wildlife conservation and research.

But last August, hope took flight again on the tenuous wings of six baby raptors. The chicks, as The Guardian reports, were released on the Isle of Wight, in the hope they would someday reclaim their place in the skies of southern Britain.

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