GLENGARRIFF’s male white-tailed eagle, W, has gone walkabout, leaving locals and others to step in as ‘surrogate dads’.
With the burden of feeding the single remaining chick falling to Mama P, suppliers – namely Brendan O’Sullivan of the Harbour Queen, Micheal McSweeney of the National Parks and Wildlife Serve, Steven Keane of the Fish Market in Bantry, Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-op and Star Seafood – have stepped into the breach.
Twice daily deliveries of fresh fish are being left nearby to ease Mama P’s burden in keeping the first born chick – which was hatched on Wednesday, April 15th last – fully fed.
A second chick was born a couple of days after the first, an event that caused great excitement amongst the thousands of people who are following the live-stream updates via the webcam that looks out over Glengarriff Harbour.
Sadly, the youngest chick died on the night of Wednesday, April 29th. Compared to its older sibling, the little fella wasn’t getting enough food. The older one was clearly too demanding of its mom and dad, who were constantly bringing morsels of fresh kill – mostly fish – to the nest.
No one knows if on that wet and windy night the dead chick was tossed out of the nest, or, indeed, if it was fed to its older brother or sister.
Dad, meanwhile, has been missing since May 6th and it is unclear as to why he has gone walkabout. W, who has been nesting in the area since 2014, has done this once before – to another female!
Two years ago, Mama P ousted W’s first mate. This nest is, in fact, their second together – their first chick having died during Storm Hannah in April 2019.
W may be off with yet another female, he may have been killed, or he may yet return – it’s just one of the reasons people keep tuning in to the daily updates on this fascinating live webcam.