It’s a girl! The Glengarriff white-tailed sea eagle chick was tagged on Thursday 18th June. At 9 weeks old, she’s around the same size and weight as an adult. Females eagles are larger than males but this chick was particularly large at a whopping 6.8kg!
Like all Irish-bred chicks she has an orange tag on her left wing. On her right wing the purple tag indicates 2020 (eagle chicks tagged elsewhere in the country this year have the same colour combination). The dot bar symbol is unique to her. She has also been fitted with a satellite tag so her movements can be tracked, from when she fledges in the next couple of weeks to when she leaves her natal area in late summer or autumn. All going well, the satellite tag will enable us to follow her movements for years, even until she nests herself. Neither the wing tags or satellite tag affect her ability to fly. The wing tags are light and flexible and will allow her to be identified from a distance or in flight. The satellite tag is also light and will enable us to follow her movements online.
We turned the livestream off while the tagging was taking place to protect the tree climber’s privacy (he was sitting in the tree while the chick was tagged on the ground). However, we have some webcam footage of the chick being collected and GoPro footage of the tagging which we’ll use to make a short video in the coming days. Watch this space! We also have to think about naming her . . .
The chick was tagged under licence in the experienced hands of Dr Allan Mee (White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Project Manager) with the help of Damien Clarke (NPWS), who climbed the tree, and local Conservation Rangers, Clare Heardman who monitors the eagles at nests in West Cork/Kerry, and Patrick Graham who skippered the boat to take out the tagging team. We are also eternally grateful to Norway for donating 100 eagles from 2007-2011, two of which were the parents of this gorgeous chick.