It is with great regret that we are writing this post, breaking the news of the death of the beautiful adult W.T.S.E. female named Saoirse. Toxicology reports confirmed Avian influenza (bird flu) as the cause of death. This is the second death of the eagles after one of her 2 chicks from 2017 died at the end of January this year also from bird flu. Saoirse along with her partner Caimin arrived in East Clare in Autumn 2011 where they made their home off Mountshannon shore. Since then they hatched a total of 6 chicks. In 2013 the eagle pair successfully fledged two chicks. This was the first time in over 100 years that WTSE chicks fledged from a nest in the wild in Ireland.These birds are part of the high profile reintroduction program of White Tailed Sea Eagles developed and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with The Golden Eagle Trust. From 2007 to 2011, 100 young eagles were brought under license from Norway and released in Killarney National Park.
Please note that if by chance you come across any sick or dead wild birds it is advised that you do not handle them. Call the Avian Influenza hotline during office hours on 076 1064403 and outside office hours 1850 200 456
Shannon one of two 2017 eagle chicks was found dead on the shores of Lough Derg in Co Tipperary on January 31st.
Following extensive testing the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that the avian influenza subtype H5N6 was detected in the wild bird. In October the same bird was picked up very sick in the waters close to Islandmore. When tested she showed low levels of lead in her system. While in the care of The Golden Eagle Trust undigested food that she regurgitated had some lead pellets in it. She also tested positive for low levels of rodenticide (rat poison) which she probably fed on something like a duck, rabbit or rat that was already dead that contained lead pellets or poison. She was nursed back to good health and released into the wild following after a couple of weeks of care. The second 2017 chick “Clare” is doing well and is currently in Wexford.