Cuteness alert: First golden eagle bred in captivity in Ireland
A golden eagle chick has been bred in captivity for the first time in Ireland - sparking hope for efforts to reintroduce the birds of prey here.
The chick, whose sex is not yet known, is just over two weeks old and was bred using artificial insemination by Brian McCann, who owns Newgrange Falconry, a mobile falconry school based in Co Louth. Mr McCann said he has been trying to breed from the parent golden eagles for years.
"This has been a fantastic thing to do as it has never been done in Ireland before," he said. "It is a first and we are making history here."
He owns the parent birds - Olga is Russian while Odin is German. Olga, inset with chick, is now successfully caring for her eaglet, which is her first offspring. "The parents are two very fabulous and beautiful birds," he said.
Lorcan O'Toole, general manager of the Golden Eagle Trust, said it was a great achievement.