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PE01500: Golden Eagle as the National Bird of Scotland

Rural Affairs

Petitioner: Stuart Housden OBE on behalf of RSPB Scotland


Date Lodged: 06 December 2013

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to formally declare the Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, as the national bird of Scotland. This could be done either through legislation, or through a parliamentary motion.

Petition History:


28 January 2014: The Committee took evidence from Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management, RSPB Scotland, and Gordon Buchanan, wildlife filmmaker. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Raptor Study Group. Link to Official Report 28 January 2014 (550KB pdf)  

Below: Gordon Buchanan and Duncan Orr-Ewing giving evidence on 28 January 2014

1 April 2014: The Committee agreed to write to a number of Parliamentary Committees. Link to Official Report 1 April 2014 (448KB pdf)

3 June 2014: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 3 June 2014 (484KB pdf)

30 September 2014: The Committee agreed to write to RSPB Scotland. Link to Official Report 30 September 2014 (509KB pdf)

25 November 2014: The Committee agreed to seek time in the Chamber for a debate on the petition. Link to Official Report 25 November 2014

23 February 2015: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 on the basis that it was not persuaded that a case had been made. In doing so, the Committee agreed to invite RSPB Scotland to undertake or arrange a public consultation on whether a national bird of Scotland is needed and, if so, what it should be. Link to Official Report 23 February 2015

Written Submissions:

It’s hailed as an icon of wild Scotland, used on company logos, place names and ancient burial sites, and now a new campaign is aiming to see the golden eagle named as the country’s national bird.
There are currently just 431 pairs of Golden Eagles in the whole of Scotland. Owing to centuries of persecution, this most charismatic of birds has been almost entirely confined to the more remote areas of the country, such as the mountains and glens of the west coast and on the western isles, with numbers held at artificially low levels and many territories vacant.

RSPB Scotland, backed by wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan, has submitted a petition urging ministers to formally designate the species as a national symbol, placing it alongside the lion rampant, saltire and Scottish thistle and emblems of the country.

An amazing animal that Scotland should be proud of

eugene butterworth

23:52 on 06 Dec 2013



20:17 on 06 Dec 2013

Magnificent beautiful creature and a true icon of Scotland.


15:42 on 06 Dec 2013

We have been coming to Scotland for nine years now, and lucky enough to see this beautiful bird. It is a truly iconic species.

Frances Button

15:35 on 06 Dec 2013

My husband and I saw a golden eagle on a trip to Scotland three years ago. It was magnificient! This species must never be lost and to make them Scotland's national birds will hopefully give them the protection that they need and even help to swell the numbers.

Jennifer Spenser

11:30 on 06 Dec 2013

Where Eagles Dare

Duncan Nisbet

9:49 on 06 Dec 2013

The first time I saw a golden eagle was in Scotland as a child, unfortunately I have to live in Southampton for work but get to the Highlands as often as possible.

Elaine Pearson

17:09 on 05 Dec 2013



9:27 on 03 Dec 2013

What a wonderful bird but how easy it would be to lose it with such low numbers and persecution still happening. Let's protect this bird and the habitats it needs to survive.

Terri Cunningham

13:56 on 02 Dec 2013

Eagles dare

Graham Buchan

12:56 on 02 Dec 2013

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