Amharc-lann nan Iolairean
The North Harris Eagle Observatory
The observatory is located in Gleann Mhiabhaig, and accessed by a track from a car park on the road to Hùisinis, in Miabhag nam Beann. It is a 30 minute walk along the glen from the carpark to the observatory.
The building is of timber construction with a turf roof, its windows commanding views up and across the glen to nearby golden eagle nesting sites. There are information boards provided in the building and it is a wonderful place to sit and scan the skyline in search of the local pair of golden eagles.
The North Harris Eagle Observatory forms part of the Outer Hebrides Bird of Prey Trail which links eleven sites throughout the islands.
Facilities on site: shelter, seating, interpretation.
Golden Eagles on Harris
The Golden Eagle is one of Scotland’s largest and most awe inspiring birds. This spectacular predator commands a place at the top of the food chain and thrives in some of our most harsh mountain environments. With a population of just 400 pairs, the golden eagle is a rare sight across much of Scotland. However, Harris is a stronghold of the species, supporting one of the highest densities of breeding golden eagles recorded in Europe. The undisturbed, open and rugged Harris terrain provides fantastic eagle habitat. In addition, the absence of predatory mammals such as foxes means that more food is available to the avian predators.
Tha daoine air a bhith a’ marbhadh iolairean-buidhe air feadh na h-Alba fad linntean, ach ’s buidhe dhuinn sna Hearadh nach robh a leithid a’ tachairt cho tric. Tha iolairean-buidhe ann a’ sheo fallain agus tha eadar 13-15 paidhir a’ fuireach air Oighreachd Ceann a Tuath na Hearadh – an sgìre as dùmhaile san Roinn Eòrpa!
Other Wildlife in Gleann Mhiabhaig
In addition to the golden eagles, white-tailed sea eagles are also regularly seen in the glen, particularly during the winter when they come inland to feed on deer carcasses and salmon. During the summer, several species of moorland birds frequent the glen including merlin, golden plover, greenshank, stonechat and wheatear. During the autumn the roars of rutting red deer can be hear echoing around the glen. Year-round residents include red grouse, raven, mountain hare and red deer. You will also find many specialised moorland plants including carpets of bog mosses and carnivorous sundews and butterworts.
Turn west off the main spinal route (A859) between Tarbert and Stornoway just north of Ardhasaig. The road from here is single track with passing places, with lots of sharp twists and turns. Continue along this road until you reach the large sea loch at Miabhaig after 4 miles, usually just over a 10 minute drive from the main spinal route.
The observatory is a 1.6 mile or 2.5 km walk up this track from the car park - about 30 minutes.
Overnight parking is permitted at this location. For other locations where overnight parking is permitted in North Harris, please have a look here.
The North Harris Trust gratefully acknowledges Scottish Natural Heritage, The Brown Forbes Memorial Fund and Leader for funding the construction of the North Harris Eagle Observatory. The project was part financed by The Scottish Government and The European Community Innse Gall 2007-2013 Programme.