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 Species of the Week - White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

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Join date : 1970-01-01

PostSubject: Species of the Week - White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)   Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:45 pm

With wingspan of over 2 metres, the White-tailed Eagles are the largest and most spectacular of eagles in Europe. They are very loyal birds and mate for life. They are also known for re-using nests, sometimes for generations. A nest in Iceland was in use for more than 150 years!

Sea eagles are associated with water - they nest and forage close to large, highly productive inland water bodies and around coasts. They hunt wide variety of vertebrate prey (fish, mammals, birds) from marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments.

They used to live in all Northern Eurasia, but their population declined during the 19th century, leading to extinction in Ireland. Human persecution through shooting and laying poison baits were the main reasons of decline and extinction. The pollutants, pesticides like DDT and habitat destruction also played their part.

The White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Project in Ireland started in 2007 by The Golden Eagle Trust and seeks to re-establish a viable self-sustaining breeding population of sea eagles in South-West Ireland after an absence of 110 years.
About 100 birds were released, but the project has been dogged by controversy, with about 27 birds found dead, of which 12 were confirmed as poisoned and one shot dead!

First chicks were born this year in Mountshannon about a month ago - great news celebrated across the whole wildlife community and media.
However, there is still a worry about the safety of these spectacular birds, with poison baits being still the biggest threat. Reaction of Irish Farmers Association (IFA) to the great news further fuelled the controversy, with IFA Kerry representative stating that ”the thing is totally unbalanced against the farmer” and that “with the increase in population there has to be some monitoring of predation of eagles on farmers’ flocks.”

We are keeping our fingers crossed for the chicks in Mountshannon and hoping to see more eaglets born in following years. We would also like to highlight the incredible work of Golden Eagle Trust and their team, volunteers and supporters. Well done!

To follow the progress of eagles and their chicks in Mountshannon, please like the following Facebook page: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

For more information about White-tailed Eagle reintroduction project, please visit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Photo by Mike Brown - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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PostSubject: Re: Species of the Week - White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)   Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:32 pm

Amazing

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