Eddie the Eagle - first wild eagle to fledge in Cork for 100 years - found dead

Anne Lucey

The first wild eagle to fledge in Co Cork in over 100 years has been found dead in neighbouring Kerry.

The white-tailed sea eagle 'Eddie' was discovered in the Dingle peninsula.

Its parents were introduced as fledgelings from Norway in 2007.

The eagle had been born in Glengarriff in 2016.

File image of a white-tailed eagle.

The male eagle vacated its nest site on the Office of Public Works-managed Garnish Island in late 2016.

Clare Heardman, the conservation ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Services, said the male eagle had been sighted at several locations on the north side of the Beara peninsula, which extends into Kerry, during his first winter.

In an update yesterday on the Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve social media page, she said since the Spring of 2017, there had been sightings of the eagle on the nearby Iveragh peninsula in Kerry and, afterwards, had remained around Dingle Bay and the Blaskets as well as Tralee and Brandon Bay.

The eagle had not been observed since June.

The last sighting of him had been at Fermoyle Beach, not far from where his remains were discovered in June by a Czech forestry worker in a Coillte plantation near Cloghane in the West Kerry Gaeltacht.

Its movements were tracked by the public and the reports and photographs were “invaluable” as he wasn’t tracked by satellite tagging, unlike several other of the white-tailed eagles, Ms Heardman said.

It was not possible to say what caused his death.

Dr Allan Mee, who has managed the largely successful reintroduction project, said that while it was possible the eagle died of natural causes, such as starvation, most such natural eagle mortalities would have occurred in the first year of life.

The likelihood of dying from starvation reduced, the older they got.

“However, human-related mortality, for example, poisoning, can equally impact all age classes,” Dr Mee said.

A number of the eagles in the programme managed by the Golden Eagle Trust and the NPWS which were tracked as far as Scotland and Northern Ireland from their base in Killarney have been killed. About 13 had been poisoned.

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