White Tailed Eagle

White-tailed eagles have been born in the wild in Killarney Ireland for the first time in more than 100 years.

According to the White-Tailed Eagle Project, one chick hatched in a nest at Killarney National Park in County Kerry and a second at a site near Mountshannon, on the edge of Lough Derg, County Clare.

It is the first major success of the project's six-year-old reintroduction programme, which began with the release of young Norwegian eagles in Killarney. 

The birds, also called sea eagles and the Brisith Isles biggest species, were once widespread in Ireland, although, it seems, they were largely found on western coasts and mountains. 

They died out after being trapped, shot and poisoned in the 19th century. By the 1890s it was thought there were one or two pairs in counties Mayo and Kerry, but by 1900 the species was extinct. 

There are estimated to be about 2,000 pairs throughout Europe at present and in Scotland, where a reintroduction programme began in 1975, there are thought to be more than 30 breeding pairs. 

The adult white-tailed Eagle is mainly brown but has, as its name suggests, a distinctive white tail. It is a scavenger and feeds largely on dead sheep and deer, but it also preys on seabirds, fish and rabbits. The reintroduction programme's ambition is to see the eagles return to Ireland for good.