SEAMUS, the first white-tailed eagle to have a satellite tag fitted, is being monitored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Golden Eagle Trust.
Clare Heardman, a conservation ranger for the Beara Peninsula, confirmed that Seamus, who hatched in the area, and is nearly six months old, left home two weeks ago.
‘He first flew out of the nest in July but didn’t actually leave until the end of September because juvenile eagles spend several months in their parents’ territory,’ said Clare. ‘That’s the time they are learning to hunt and fend for themselves.’
Clare said all of the chicks that hatched in Beara – there are five in total since 2015 – have wing tags. ‘The colour of tags, and the number or letter on it, let us know what eagle we are looking at.’
But with satellite tagging, Clare said Seamus is unique in that his position comes up every few hours as a point on the computer.
And, on Monday, October 8th, Clare had the pleasure of seeing him in the wild and photographing him. ‘Since he left two weeks ago,’ the conservation ranger said: ‘he had a brief visit to Whiddy Island before exploring the peninsulas and then heading inland to a forestry plantation.’
Seamus is the only chick to fledge this year. He did have a twin but that chick died when he was very young. Of the other four, Eddie, a Glengarriff chick, died earlier this year, and Munster Junior died in 2017.
But two of Seamus’s siblings from previous years – ‘number five and six’ – are still alive and well in the area.