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NATURE: Eagles Of Mull

Airs Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

An adult white-tailed eagle in flight. The Isle of Mull, off the coast of wes...

Credit: ©Iain Erskine 2005

Above: An adult white-tailed eagle in flight. The Isle of Mull, off the coast of western Scotland, hosts an amazing diversity of life.

They say ‘There’s no place like home’ and for wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan, it takes more than growing up in a place to truly appreciate its beauty. It takes coming home again. Born and raised on the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland, Buchanan set off when he was 17 years old in pursuit of his dream of filming the animals and natural settings of faraway places. But presented with an opportunity to return home after 15 years abroad to film the wildlife on Mull, he was happy for the chance to take a new look at his native land, through his camera lens. In the process, he found more admiration for it than ever before.

The Isle of Mull is the fourth largest Scottish island, and its 300-mile coastline supports a wide range of species. Although animals such as otters, seals and dolphins are often seen there, the island is most famous for its eagles.

The golden eagle, one of the most familiar birds of the region, presents a magnificent display of colorful plumage and powerful features. And another inhabitant is getting lots of attention — the white-tailed sea eagle, which was once extinct in the area, but has since been re-introduced and has taken up residence on Mull. It has a striking appearance, an enormous 8-foot wingspan, and impressive hunting tactics. The sea eagles can eat anything from fish to the occasional lamb, and can be seen soaring through the air with their prey dangling from their sharp talons. It’s no mystery why their growing presence has become a source of pride for the island. And for Buchanan, who left Mull before the birds were re-established in the area, the eagles were an exciting addition to his home turf.

Video Excerpt: Nature: Eagles Of Mull

It's a clear, sunny day on the Isle of Mull, and wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan has found the perfect opportunity to get closer to the white-tailed sea eagle nest, where a couple of two-week-old chicks are peaking their heads up. Suddenly, one of the adults swoops in carrying a lamb - a good meal for the growing chicks. "Eagles of Mull" airs on PBS Sunday, July 11, 2010 (check local listings) and is part of the 28th season of the Peabody and Emmy award-winning series produced by Thirteen in association with WNET.ORG for PBS.

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