Third time lucky for Glengarriff parents

August 9th, 2016 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The Glengarriff chick being tagged at 10 weeks old. (Photo: Alan McCarthy/Golden Eagle Trust)

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IT was a case of ‘third time lucky’ for a pair of white tailed sea eagles who finally saw one of their chicks take flight in Glengarriff earlier this week.

The eagle also became the first chick to fly in the wild in Cork in over 100 years.

According to Clare Heardman, conservation ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, the adult eagles had been very unlucky up until now with their chicks.

‘This pair have been in Glengarriff since the end of 2012 following a re-introduction programme that ran between 2007 to 2011 in Killarney, and they naturally spread out then. Their first attempt at breeding happened in 2014 but the chick died at two weeks old, due to the bad weather and we monitored them all the time and kept an eye on them,’ Clare told The Southern Star.

‘They had another chick last year who survived for a while, but unfortunately died ten weeks later which was unusual as it died by swallowing some crow feathers. Thankfully, on their third attempt this year, this chick has survived and at just over 15 weeks old, he started flying. 

‘That is late, as they would normally start to fly between 10 and 13 weeks, but it’s great news that finally one of their chicks has taken flight,’ she pointed out.

The male chick, who has been tagged by Clare and her team from the Golden Eagle Trust, took his first flight on Sunday and was spotted flying out around Garinish Island before he returned to his nest.

‘The chick won’t leave the nest just yet as the parents will still bring food to him and he might stay around until November. But after that he will make his own way in life while his parents will hold down their own territory here,’ explained Clare.

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