always something new to discover.
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Being an island Rum has an interesting diversity of bird species. 

Manx Shearwater chick (c) Sean MorrisManx Shearwater burrow (c) Sean MorrisRum is perhaps most famous for its colony of Manx Shearwaters. Over 60,000 pairs of this black and white pigeon sized bird nest in burrows near the summits of the islands highest mountains. After spending the winter off the east coast of South America the shearwaters return in late March to reclaim their burrows – usually the same burrow as in previous years.The birds only return to the colony under the cover of darkness as a protection from predation from predators such as Golden Eagles. Each pair of shearwaters lays a single egg in May and the chick is fed by the parents until early September when it is abandoned and it must find its own way to the sea on a dark September night.

Peregrine mobbing White-tailed Eagle (c) Sean Morris

White-tailed Eagle (c) Sean Morris

Another species that Rum is famous for is the White-tailed Eagle. Rum was the site of the first phase of the re-introduction of this species to Scotland when 82 young birds from Norway were released between 1975 and 1985.

There are now over 100 pairs of this species breeding in Scotland and they are regularly seen both inland and around the coast of Rum.

Golden Eagle (c) Sean MorrisMerlin (c) Sean MorrisGolden Eagles can also be regularly spotted soaring over the islands mountain tops and ridges and Red-throated Divers are regular breeders on many of the islands hill lochs. Large numbers of seabirds of several species such as guillemots, kittiwakes and shags also breed on the cliffs surrounding the island. Many other species of birds can also be seen on a visit to Rum.

Remember that many of the birds on Rum nest on the ground and are susceptible to disturbance from humans or dogs. Please be careful not to stand on nests, eggs or chicks while out walking. This is especially important along the shores. Please keep dogs under control.

Isle of Rum Birds LeafletIsle of Rum Birds Leaflet 
SNH Golden Eagle Leaflet 
SNH Sea Eagle Booklet
Isle of Rum Bird Report 2008 by Sean Morris
Isle of Rum Birds Species List- PDF list taken from "Checklist of the Birds of Rhum" by J Love for NCC 1984 and updated by S Morris 2011

For information on your responsibilities when using the outdoors follow this link to a short film.

Further Reading

For info about books and resources, please visit our Further Reading section

 Page updated Jan 2020
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