Hopes High for Ireland's First White Tail Sea Eagle Chicks in 100 Years
White tailed sea eagles are breeding in Ireland for the first time in over 100 years as a result of a new programme to reintroduce the bird to the island.
This is the first known nesting since the reintroduction programme began. White Tailed Sea Eagles were relocated from Norway four years ago through a programme developed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with Golden Eagle trust.
The pair of birds have been spotted nesting near Mountshannon, County Clare. The breeding marks a milestone in the project to restore the White Tailed Sea Eagle species to Ireland.
“This is a truly momentous event”, said Dr. Allan Mee, project manager for the Golden Eagle Trust. “It seems a long time since we collected these birds as chicks from nests in the wild in Norway and to see them now nesting in the wild themselves in Ireland is the day we have all been waiting for.”
From Golden Eagle Trust
Though the nest has not been visited to confirm the presence of eggs to avoid any unnecessary disturbance, reports note that the behaviour of the birds indicated that the birds have nested.
The pair of sea eagles first made the area their home in early 2011 after being released in Killarney National Park, County Kerry. The birds can be seen in the video below.
White Tailed Sea Eagle in Ireland were driven to extinction in the early 20th Century. The predatory birds were often killed by farmers and landowners. The last pair bred on the coast of Mayo in 1912. The public was happy to see the return of the majestic birds to Ireland: