TWO generations of newly released red kite birds of prey have been illegally poisoned.
A dead juvenile bird found in Wicklow town was the offspring of an adult female poisoned 13 months earlier near Brittas Bay.
The young bird was the first of 21 chicks born in the Irish wild to be killed.
The Golden Eagle Trust described the poisoning of two generations of the same red kite family as “ devastating.”.
Tests have confirmed that the juvenile had been poisoned with two toxic pesticides carbofuran and alphachloralose.
This is the first time both chemicals have been detected in the carcass of a red kite in Ireland.
The bird's mother had been poisoned with alphachloralose in December 2011.
The birds were identified by their tags.
Authorities suspect both birds had been feeding on carrion laced with the chemicals, which have been banned.
It is illegal to use these chemicals to poison birds, foxes or other wildlife.
However, experts believe that some landowners continue to use these poisons.
Dr Marc Ruddock of the Golden Eagle Trust said he was devastated by the latest death and confirmation of the poisons involved.
He said the young bird had been found on a public path just outside Wicklow town.
A total of 120 red kites have been released into the wild in Wicklow, he said.