Saturday 18 January 2020

First wild eagle to fly the nest in Cork in over 100 years found dead

'Eddie' the Glengarriff eagle, who was born in 2016, was found dead on the Dingle Peninsula in June.

Eddie, who left his nest in late 2016, was last seen in June this year. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan via Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve.
Eddie, who left his nest in late 2016, was last seen in June this year. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan via Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve.
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

A young eagle known as "Eddie" the Glengarriff eagle was found dead in June, it has been announced.

Eddie is said to be the first wild eagle to fledge in Co Cork in over 100 years.

The white-tailed sea eagle was born in 2016 to parents introduced to Ireland as fledglings from Norway in 2007.

According to Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, the young eagle left his nest site on Garnish Island in late 2016.

Since then, there have been various sightings of Eddie on the Iveragh Peninsula and on several beaches in Co Kerry, including the Dingle Bay, Tralee Bay, Brandon Bay and on the Blaskets.

The last definite sighting of Eddie was in June, where he was spotted on Fermoyle beach in Co Kerry. 

Eddie in Glengarriff. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan via Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve.
Eddie in Glengarriff. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan via Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve.

Eddie was found dead in June by a forestry worker who was planting trees for Coillte in a plantation west of Cloghane village.

It is believed that he may have been dead for two to three months beforehand, but a cause of death is unknown.

Dr Allan Mee, the White-tailed Eagle Project Manager, said it is unlikely that Eddie died of natural causes.

"While it’s possible he died of natural causes like starvation, most such ‘natural’ eagle mortality occurs in the first year of life (typically 25%) but is much lower in subsequent years as individuals gain the experience and skills to survive in the wild," Dr Mee said.

"However, human related mortality like poisoning can equally impact all age classes."

Conservation ranger for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NWPS) Clare Heardman said they were "sad" to hear of Eddie's death but thanked the forestry ranger and the public for notifying them of sightings of the bird.

"Eddie wasn’t satellite tagged so these sightings were invaluable in tracking his movements," Ms Heardman said.

"May all the other young Irish-bred eagles out there stay safe and not suffer the same fate as Eddie."

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