It may only be the early days of 2015 but Donegal’s Golden Eagles are showing promise that their population could swell again this summer.
The project’s most successful pairing of eagles have once again been spotted on their favourite ledge at Glenveagh National Park.
Between them they have managed to breed six wild Irish Golden Eagles.
Below is a report from Lorcan O’Toole, the co-ordinator of the Golden Eagle Project.
January 7th: The Glenveagh pair of Golden Eagles have been roosting in the National Park for the last two weeks. This morning, I managed to see them as they left their favoured ledge at 8.41 am. It was still quite dull in the shaded glen at that time.
The pair’s female hatched in May 2001 near Assyant, Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. She was released in Glenveagh in August 2001. So she is approaching her 14th ‘birthday’ this May.
The picture was taken at her nest site in 2009, when she (Yellow Horizontal Bar) reared two chicks. The two yellow wing tags have since fallen off, but the small radio back, minus the long aerial, can be seen occasionally above her feathers. She has a slight kink in the centre of her tail, where two new feathers have not yet quite reached their full length.
She bred in the Bluestack Mountains in 2005 and 2006 before abandoning her territory and mate and moving back to Glenveagh. She paired up with a male bird (Blue 3), collected from Skye in 2002, and has been with him since. Both birds were seen for 8 minutes this morning as they sailed in tandem along the slight ridge winds above the Glenveagh valley, before disappearing out of site.
This pair have reared 6 wild Irish Golden Eagle chicks between 2007 and 2013. It is only another short few months before they hopefully breed again in March.
Over the holiday period, the three other pairs in Donegal were seen on their respective territories also.
Though it was only a relatively short, and distant, sighting, it was nice to see these older eagles soaring effortlessly, at day break, on a brisk January morning. Once again, we will keep our fingers crossed as the next breeding season quickly approaches!Tags: