Eagles of Mull

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.

As Buchanan says, there is “always something to film” while exploring Mull.  He heads off in all directions, finding otters like those he remembered watching as a child and stumbling upon sights he never dreamed of seeing.  It’s a spectacular setting, combining the changing moods of sea and sky, woodlands and coastline with the quaint and dreamy feel of the place, which now attracts a multitude of tourists but still manages to maintain its unique character.

Watch as Buchanan rediscovers his homeland, surprises himself with new findings, and falls in love all over again with the splendor and magic of Mull.

Eagles of Mull premieres Sunday, May 3 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings).

Photo © Iain Erskine c/o Carolyn Naylor

  • Erin Baileyi Wolfe

    I bet this Nature film will be the best one yet. I love Eagles, they fasinate me at how intelligent and gracful they are. Nature, thank you for putting this on!

  • Pinky

    bu-ya! did u know that i was named after a eagle. the eagle’s name was pinkalo. she was mom’s until people stole her…. I am going to see this film right away! thx nature

  • Taiila

    Oh my gosh, I love bald eagles! They r sooooo cute and cuddly! Nature, i will watch this program from now on if u keep this up! thx

  • briantravelman

    Are there gonna be just eagles or other animals too? I might watch it anyways cause I like Scotland, but I wanna see some other animals too.

  • NATURE Online

    Yes, there are other animals in the program as well. Otters, dolphins, and basking sharks – to name a few. Hope you’ll tune in!

  • briantravelman

    Ya! If that’s the case then I probably will! They should’ve just called it Isle Of Mull, instead of eagles! The guys in it though so thats gonna ruin it, but I’ll probably watch it anyways, because I like Scotland! :)

    Basking Sharks! That’s the names of the sharks whos mouths are stuck open! Basking Sharks! I guess that means they can’t bite you! How the heck do they eat or hunt?

  • Sharon

    This program inspired me as few others have. I am 50 years young–still looking for that meaningful career. I am a very competent secretary at a law firm but long to be outside and spend all my free time kayaking, skiing, loving nature, animals and wildlife. I am so jealous of Gordon’s life. Please let me know how I can get involved. The animals are slightly different versions of the ones I see here in America–Farmington, Connecticut. Minks, River Otters and Bald Eagles.

  • Steve Hiller

    I lived in Scotland for many years and had the good fortune of visiting Mull several times. Nature and Gordon Buchanan did a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the island. (My Scottish wife looked a little home sick.)

  • Thomas Lynch

    One word: Spectacular.

  • Nedra MacLean

    Really enjoyed the film. My husbends ancesters are from this island and I love nature. Would like to have a copy of this. Thanks

  • Sharon Haines

    I would like to thank Gordon for letting me see the magnificence of Mull through the lense of his eye/camera and his excellant commentary enlarging on what they saw first hand.

  • Laurie Eno

    This was a superb program, the kind that makes you want to stand up and cheer for Public Television! Transported to the western shore of Scotland for 50 glorious minutes, mountains and ocean and varied creatures in such numbers it’s difficult to comprehend. This is my idea of armchair travel!

  • rachel newell

    we missed this sunday may 3 at 8 pm on pbs. when can we see it again? tks.

  • Rosemary Zenga

    Visited Scotland …. loved it then and now, after watching Gordon Buchanan’s spectacular episode of the beauty of the Isle of Mull, would love to take a trip back to Scotland and to make a point of visiting the Isle of Mull. Great show! Thank you Gordon!

  • Ben Tarver

    Just ran across the show on KET2 and am watching the “Eagles of Mull” episode tonight. I love it! Great information, filming, and folk, traditional music. Continue the good work. Are there DVD seasons of the show?

  • christy

    Loved this program! What was the music that was used?
    I’d love to get it.

  • Lynn

    Please tell me: When will this be released on dvd???
    I MUST have it – this is one of the best programs I’ve ever seen. I was utterly captivated!
    Gordon Buchanan, you are a most talented and completely delightful fellow. I am charmed by the way you are so in awe of all the animals, and how you talked to them, including the “wee” otters! Thank you so very much for making and sharing this! I hope to go visit there someday…

  • David C. Powell

    The animals and the filming were terrific. However, the almost constant background was music became so irritating I ended up turning it off. Why do producers feel that background music adds value to a show? Nature has no background music. It was especially annoying when it was overpowering the commentary. The basking shark footage was great. Not often seen by the public but there was no mention of how they have been decimated by humans and are getting close to extinction due to critically small population size. I am a professional biologist.

  • Kyle Pattison

    This episode was incredible. My wife and I were totally hooked – I wish it would have been longer ;) Excellent work by Mr. Buchanan – I’m going to look for more stuff by him.

  • Arlene Metrione

    I have relatives living on the Isle of Uva near Mull. It was exciting to see the beauty of this enriched part of the world! May not get to visit there but this gave us an opportunity to appreciate it’s promise for future wild life and nature.

  • virginia

    I live in Eugene OR and have friends in Redditch Worsc. We travled to Mull a few years ago in their motore home. What a joy it was to watch the program on Public Broadcasting and see all the wild life and relive the wonderful experience of Mull. I just loved the show! Thanks for the wonderful opportunity and sharing of the journey back to Mull!

  • Joseph C. Gonzales

    This brodcast was simply amazing, I was glued to the t.v. as seen the Golden and Sea Eagles soar effortlessly in the sky. As a 18 year old college student, I usually spend my Sunday evening watching FOX’s Sunday line-up of cartoons. However this program made me reconsider my choices and more “quality brodcasting”.

    Thanks Mr.Gordon! ^^

  • ejhall

    Great,breath-taking nature film!

  • Sara

    SO beautiful! And I could worrrrk on my Scottish accent at the same time. :-)

  • Margie

    8 years ago I asked my much traveled sister “where was the most beautiful place you have traveled to?” “Scotland” she answered & so we traveled for 3 weeks in Scotland & England the following summer. We stayed at a B&B in Oban, traveled by ferry to Mull, then drove across Mull for a visit to Iona & Staffa. I fell in love & lost my heart forever in those 3 days and dream of visiting the Western Hebrides again someday. Thanks for allowing me to do that again if only for an hour!

  • cantom

    Quality programming at it’s best! Whole family enjoyed.

  • Cbennett

    I lived in the Queen Charlottle Islands for many years, and it took me back to those days, of the otter, eagles, and whales a marvelous film and a one of those places I would love to go to one day

  • briantravelman

    Hmmm! I still don’t see why this episode was called Eagles Of Mull! There were almost no eagles! It mostly showeed other animals! It should’ve just been called, Isle Of Mull! :)

  • Bob Bieniarz

    Where can I obtain a video (DVD) of the ‘Eagles of Mull’ with Gord Buchanan – congrats and thanks to PBS & Nature.

  • Peter Emerson

    I am visiting Mull this summer with my wife and daughter and have not yet seen the PBS broadcast Eagles of Mull. How can I view this or obtain a copy?


  • cheska ~

    I found this special really touching. i hate to admit to being such a softy, but i was in tears by the end! lol. The eagles peeked my interest on the previews since i spent the past weekend visiting a raptor rescue. And then with Scotland & Ireland always having been two places in the world i want to visit before i die ~ it made it extra special to get a true look at what nature has to showcase in that part of the world! Thank you :) Beautiful job filming and narrating. I felt like i was there! I also have to say it was a strangely moving experience to watch a nature show and have it be narrated by someone who’s words sound like an echo to the ones i hear myself saying when i get the privilege to just simply observe nature, lol. what a wonderful occupation! and one your obviously love. Keep up the good work!

  • amir

    i want the full program online

  • NATURE Online

    Unfortunately, this program will not be available on DVD or for online streaming. If you missed “Eagles of Mull,” your best bet is to check your local listings by clicking the “schedule” link at the top of the site. This will show you if the program will re-air in your area soon.

  • D.Martin


    Gordon’s a sensitive and talented photographer. His affection for Mull was exquisitely portrayed.

    I’m in love with Scotland- truly magical.

  • Zach

    Wonderful job guys. I initially questioned the narration by the cameraman (*and I missed F. Murray Abraham), but Gordon did a great job. I’m a magazine photographer myself and I know the amount of planning that went into those shots; especially the setup shots where he himself was in the frame. Great job to the entire team including his assistants; I am sure it took a lot of very early mornings but that was some dead sexy cinematography. Really, just great job.

  • Marjorie Hemphill

    One of the best programs I’ve seen on PBS, and that’s saying a great deal: the Breathtaking photography, sharp, beautiful and poetic, the intelligent and loving Gordon Buchanan with his bonny accent, and the music of my fathers singing throughout…thank you, thank you…

  • Charles Buchanan

    You know Gordon, you have stolen my dream. I am 66 now, however as long as I can remember, I have always loved photography,nature and Scotland. Thank You for enabling me to enjoy all three, Clarior Hinc Honos

  • Dan Roy

    Gordon -I found this program completely enchanting. Thank you.

  • Alison

    Gordon – I watched your show (in HD!) and was so moved by the commentary, the beauty, the talent. Thank you so much for your year on Mull and for educating me on yet another superb corner of Scotland. Not only have I become a huge fan of Mull but now I’m a huge fan of your work!

  • Jo Bennett

    Please, why will Eagles of Mull not be available for purchase? It was the best Nature I’ve ever seen, and I would so love to watch it again…and again.

  • Gladyce Bouley

    Thank Nature and Gordon Buchanan for a lovely evening! I may never see the island of Mull in person but the photography and commentary — and all the beautiful creatures of sky, land and sea are engraved in my memory. I love public television!

  • Doug MacMillan

    When my wife and I visited Scotland a few years back, we were enchanted by Mull. It turned out to be our favorite spot. We stayed in the North, near Tobermory, which was featured in the show. Gordon Buchanan’s great job made us long to return!

    I was saddened to read that there are plans to build part of the world’s biggest wind farm on Mull. Not only will it spoil the pristine vistas, but more importantly wind turbines pose a significant threat to birds. I’m a fan a green energy but it doesn’t come without consequences.

    Lastly, I appreciated the sly advertisement for Tobermory Single Malt Scotch in one of the opening sequences! It’s great Scotch!

  • Laura Donham

    I really enjoyed Eagles of Mull. It was refreshing to have a nature film that didn’t focus on wildlife constantly hunting and killing. This film felt more intimate and real to me. I look forward to seeing more of Gordon Buchanan’s work. Thank you!

  • briantravelman

    Why isn’t the full episode online like all the other new ones? Not that I care, cause I have it on tape, but still, I’m just wandering!

  • Trina

    Just lovely! I have been to Mull. Where can I buy this, please?

  • Fiona

    Been to Mull several times on the ferry from Oban where I use to live.I now study the eagles in the channel Islands off the coast of California.
    Great episode Gordon din’t think Mull had all this wild live.
    Cheers all.

  • Dianna

    I too am curious why the show will not be available online. I have no TV and would love to see it.

  • NATURE Online

    There are special rights considerations relating to this NATURE episode. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Mike

    Interesting! I hope that everyone had a happy Fourth of July!

  • MickeyMudTurtle

    I know this is going to infuriate some, but Mr. Buchanan is a veritable chatterbox. He doesn’t seem to understand that it’s the *animals* which should do the “talking.” After less than 10 minutes I just turned off the TV, because, as far as I’m concerned, his incessant chatter ruined it.

  • Marj

    Just took a wonderful “trip” to Isle of Moll, which I must confess I had never heard of. Thank you
    Gordon for a truly delightful exposure.

  • Clancy

    Thank you Gordon and PBS for a gentle but brilliant meeting of Mull and the creatures, two as well as four legged, from there.
    We thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Laura

    This film was amazing. It was wonderful to see Gordon’s time on Mull, to watch the eagle chicks become old enough to leave the nest, and follow him following the sea life. It is a mgaical place, I hope to visit someday. Gordon was charming and an amazing wildlife photographer.

  • Ellen

    I loved this program….so well done and so beautiful. Makes me want to live on Mull…someday.

  • Marie McLean

    Having gone to Mull two years ago for a clan gathering (Duart Castle on Mull is the homeplace of the clan MacLean), I was thrilled to see this film. Unfortunately, I did not have time to explore all of the nooks and crannies while there, so this film filled in much of what I missed and also gave a view of the charming old town.

  • David Haag

    My son and son-in-law and I sat on top of the Devil’s Staircase in the Scottish Highlands and watched a sea eagle fly in from the North Atlantic Coast. It was a beautiful site and one treasured from then, long ago, till now. My family and I have spent holidays on Mull before the reintroduction of the sea eagle, it would be great to return and see them prospering on this lovely island.

  • Brian

    Last month I had the pleasure to see “Eagles of Mull” for the first time. Quite simply, one of the best ‘Nature’ episodes ever produced. Thank you, Gordon and all involved.

  • Laura

    I loved this show so much, I actually ordered the DVD from Amazon UK, only to discover UK DVD’s, with the PAL formatting, do not work on DVD players here in the USA. Why, oh why, is this wonderful program not available on video in the US?

  • Jeff Abplanalp

    Outstanding…one of the all time bests. Great presentation! So much variety and all in one area. I like the theme of rediscovery also. I’ll have to watch it again sometime.

  • Reece Lovatt

    does anyone know his dat of birth? i need it for a school project.

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.