'Eddie the Eagle' found dead in Cloghane area

Kathleen O'Sullivan

A white-tailed sea eagle, offspring to parents released in Kerry in 2007, has been found dead on the Dingle Peninsula.

Known as Eddie the Eagle in its native Glengarriff where it was born in 2016, the carcase was found after disappearing in recent months. The sad finding was announced by the Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve on its Facebook page on Monday.

It is not possible to determine the cause of death of the two-year-old as he has been deceased for approximately two or three months. White Tailed Eagle Project Manager Dr Allan Mee said that while it's possible he died of natural causes, most such 'natural' eagle mortality occurs in the first year of life.

"However, human related mortality (e.g. poisoning) can equally impact all age classes," he added. It is understood that 13 eagles in the programme, managed by the Golden Eagle Trust and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, have died from poisoning.

Conservation Ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service Clare Heardman discussed in the Facebook post how Eddie came to be a loved local by many. "He left his nest on Garnish Island in 2016 and was then sighted at several locations on the north side of the Beara Peninsula during his first winter. By spring 2017, he was on the Iveragh Peninsula," Clare explained.

And he loved Kerry so much that he stayed close to the beaches here, including Dingle Bay, Tralee Bay, Brandon Bay and the Blaskets. The last sighting of him was on Fermoyle beach, near where he was found dead. His remains were discovered by a forestry worker planting trees for Coillte in a plantation west of Cloghane.