Golden eagle rears chick in wild

eagle chick Image copyright Golden Eagle Trust
Image caption The first eagle chick in Donegal fledged in 2007

An Irish bred golden eagle has successfully reared a chick in the wild for the first time in more than 100 years.

Golden eagles were wiped out in Ireland through habitat changes and widespread hunting in the early 1900s.

A scheme to reintroduce the birds of prey to Ireland saw a number of Scottish-bred chicks released in County Donegal between 2001 and 2012.

Three separate pairs of golden eagles fledged a chick in 2017 in Donegal.

Lorcan O'Toole, of the Golden Eagle Trust, said the births were a boost to a fledgling Donegal eagle population.

Image copyright Golden Eagle Trust
Image caption A number of Scottish bred chicks were released in County Donegal between 2001 and 2012

"While this fragile population is still confined to Co Donegal, the addition of three healthy juveniles to a small population, a total of 20-25 birds, is a very welcome boost," he said.

The latest success is the result of a project which began in Glenveagh in 2001.

Mr O'Toole said there were now eagle pairs in the Derryveagh and Bluestack mountain ranges as well as the Glencolumbkille and Inishowen peninsulas.

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