This year for the holiday season we thought you might like to find out more about our native wildlife. We’ve also included a voting option at the bottom of the page, so you can let us know which is your favourite.

Golden eagle

Red deer

Golden-Eagle

Scottish-Red-Deer  

The golden eagle is one of the best-known birds of prey in the northern hemisphere. Its wingspan can range from 1.8m to 2.34m and it is capable of reaching speeds of up to 190 km/h when gliding and up to 320 km/h when diving after prey. Golden eagles are opportunists and will prey on virtually any animal of a reasonable size. In between the spectacular drama of catching prey eagles spend much of the daylight perching or resting.

The red deer is one of the largest deer species and its colour varies according to the seasons and types of habitats, with grey or lighter colouration prevalent in the winter and more reddish and darker coat colouration in the summer. The breeding season, or rut, occurs from the end of September to November. Serious injury and death can result during rutting when stags roar and grunt.

The otter

Pine marten

The-Otter

The-Pine-Marten

The otter is a semiaquatic mammal which feeds mainly on fish and shellfish. It has a long, slim body and relatively short limbs, with webbed paws and sharp claws. It has very soft, insulated under fur, which is protected by an outer layer of long guard hairs. Otters are inquisitive, intelligent and playful animals and appear to engage in various activities for sheer enjoyment, such as making waterslides. The collective noun for otters is a romp, which is descriptive of their often playful nature.

The pine marten is an animal native to northern Europe belonging to same family as mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel. It is about the size of a domestic cat and its fur is usually light to dark brown growing longer and silkier during the winter months. It has small, rounded, highly sensitive ears and sharp teeth for eating small mammals, birds, insects and frogs. However, some tamer pine martins have been known to come and take food provided for them and appear to be particularly fond of jam and peanut butter.

Highland cattle

Red squirrel

The-Higland-Cattle

The-Red-Squirrel

Highland cattle are a Scottish breed of cattle with long horns and long wavy coats which are coloured black, brindled, red, yellow or dun. The breed which was developed in the Scottish Highlands and western isles of Scotland, are known for being hardy due to the rugged nature of their native environment, with has high rainfall and very strong winds. For show purposes highland cattle are sometimes groomed with oils and conditioners to give their coats a fluffy appearance leading them to also be known as fluffy cows.

The red squirrel is a tree dwelling animal which lives off an omnivorous diet of plants, smaller animals, algae and fungi. It is smaller than the eastern grey squirrel, which has been one of the causes of its decline in numbers in recent years. The red squirrel, like most tree squirrels, has sharp, curved claws to enable it to climb and descend broad tree trunks, thin branches and even house walls. Its strong hind legs enable it to leap gaps between trees. The red squirrel can also swim.

Capercaillie grouse

Scottish wild cat

Capercaillie-Grouse

Scottish-Wildcat

The capercaillie grouse is the largest member of the grouse family. Male body feathers are coloured dark grey to dark brown with dark metallic green breast feathers whereas females are brown with black and silver colouring and a lighter buffish-yellow on their underside. Western capercaillies are not elegant fliers due to their body weight and short, rounded wings. While taking off they produce a sudden thundering noise that deters predators. It is a highly specialised herbivore which particularly likes eating blueberries.

The Scottish wildcat resembles a muscular domestic tabby with a coat made up of well-defined brown and black stripes. With a gait more like that of a big cat its face and jaw are wider and thicker set than the domestic cat. It has eighteen sharp retractable claws and rotating wrists for gripping prey and climbing trees and thanks to powerful thigh muscles can reach 30mph in a sprint. The wildcat plays an important role as a predator and controller of small to medium size prey and pest species such as rabbits.

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