Rescued golden eagle released back into wild on Mull
A golden eagle that was found injured on the Isle of Mull has been released back into the wild after almost eight months of care by an animal charity.
The bird, named Bud, was found with a damaged wing on Mull last August and rescued by the Scottish SPCA.
The charity worked with Raptor World and the RSPB to help it overcome the injury and a subsequent leg break.
Bud was freed on 13 March - the first time the Scottish SPCA has returned an injured golden eagle to the wild.
Colin Seddon, manager at the charity's National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire, said the juvenile golden eagle had been found by a farmer on Mull.
"Bud was found to have soft tissue damage to his wing which took a long time to heal and unfortunately once he had fully recovered he broke his right leg in a freak accident," he said.
"The break was repaired by a vet using an external fixator and as the healing process was very long Bud was kept with us over winter.
"We had to carefully choose the best time and place to release Bud and following discussions with David Sexton of the RSPB and Stewart Millar from Raptor World, we decided to take him back to a location close to where he was found."
Mr Seddon said they had to wait for a "reasonable weather window" to release Bud.
"We didn't want to release him in a period of heavy rain as he may not have been able to hunt," he said.
"We also had to avoid strong winds because, as an inexperienced flyer, Bud would have been blown away from the release site where support food and monitoring is being provided by the RSPB."
Mr Seddon added: "Bud is the first ever golden eagle we've been able to release back into the wild and everyone involved is extremely pleased with the outcome.
"It is rare for us to rescue golden eagles as there are so few of them in Scotland and because they tend to live in remote areas they often die before they are found if they become sick or injured."