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Mammy sea eagle entertains gentleman caller ‘Brendan’

February 25th, 2021 5:10 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Sunniva is still in Glengarriff and visits her mother’s nest, but she may have a gentleman caller named Brendan.

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THE word is out that the young eagle chick, Sunniva, is still going back to mom’s for dinner and that mom is feathering her nest now that a young male called Brendan has arrived on the scene.

The white-tailed eagles in Glengarriff are fascinating, which is why the live webcam on the Glengarriff Nature Reserve website continues to attract so many viewers.

Clare Heardman, the conservation ranger, confirmed that 10-month Sunniva is still in the area and has been seen returning to the nest to share a light supper with her mother.

The dad, called ‘W’, disappeared over the last May Bank Holiday weekend, leaving momma ‘P’, to rear the young female chick.

The webcam caught the two of them chowing down on a seabird that mom brought back to the nest.  It’s a far cry from Wanderly Wagon but ‘Crow’ – a friend of the young chick – made an appearance in the video too.

The video footage shows Sunniva cleaning her beak after eating, but eagle-eyed viewers will be surprised to see a third eagle  popping in to grab some of the food, smorgasbord-style.

He’s a young male called Brendan who hatched from a nest in Kerry in 2017. He can be identified by his green tag and a tail that isn’t fully white.

Clare said: ‘Only time will tell if he stays around and becomes P’s new mate. Brendan’s a bit young for breeding, but he and P could be going through the process of courtship and bonding and might not breed until 2022.’

The sight of mom adding grass and twigs to refresh the nest means there is speculation that she could be preparing to breed next month, but it’s still very much a case of ‘watch this space.’ Even more recent sighting have shown Brendan adding twigs to the nest – it poses the question does Brendan fancy his chances as a stay at home dad?

Although the webcam is live, Clare said the nest isn’t the hive of activity it was before, during, and after Sunniva hatched, but viewers can always catch-up on this particular soap opera on the nature reserve’s Facebook page.

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