Republic of Ireland news

Irish Golden Eagle hatches chick for first time in century

Golden Eagles were re-introduced in County Donegal in 2001
Seamus McKinney

PLANS to re-establish the Golden Eagle in Ireland have taken a huge step forward with news that a Donegal-bred bird has hatched a chick in Glenveagh for the first time.

While Golden Eagles introduced from Scotland have reared chicks in Ireland in the past, it is the first time a native-bred bird has given birth in more than a century.

Lorcan O'Toole of the Golden Eagle Trust also revealed that some of the birds of prey introduced in Donegal have nested across the border in the Glens of Antrim and in Co Down.

In Co Donegal, the birds are now nesting in the Derryveagh and Bluestack Mountains, Glencolmcille and Inishowen.

“We believe there are between 27 and 32 birds in the north west now. We would like to think we're going in the right direction although you couldn't say it is a viable population yet,” said Mr O'Toole.

“The Glenveagh eagle had been trying for the past three years but had been unable to hatch a chick until now."

The Golden Eagle Trust was set up in 1999 to re-introduce the magnificent birds of prey to Ireland after the last of the species died out in 1912.

Since then it has enjoyed mixed fortunes with some birds killed with poison and others shot by hunters.

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