The adult birds are the undoubted star attractions. Visitors are always impressed when they see these magnificent birds whether by chance when they happen upon an observation point or as part of a planned visit by an enthusiast. The biggest impact is undoubtedly when the birds take to the sky and their full splendour is on show.
The male bird from the 2008 season has a Red Tag on his left wing marked Y, white tag on the right.
Male White-tailed Sea Eagle (c) GET
The female bird from the 2009 season has a Green Tag on her left wing with a %and a white tag the right.
Female White-tailed Sea Eagle (c) Gordon Daly
The female is the larger of the two birds but checking for the tag is the easiest way to identify them.The birds have been adopted as Caimin and Saoirse by the school children of Mountshannon and Whitegate respectively.
The birds were released in Killarney National Park as part of the re-introduction programme in the years 2008 and 2009 and made their way to Lough Derg where they paired successfully in 2012.They were originally gifted by Norway and were brought from the island of Frøya off the west coast of Norway by The Golden Eagle Trust.
Dr Allan Mee project manager of The Golden Eagle Trust has made reference at various public meetings that Frøya has no trees and the birds nest on the ground as they have no natural predators. Perhaps due to the fact that the birds were collected at such a young age or perhaps because instinct is such a powerful force the birds chose to nest on trees in each of their three breeding seasons.
The female was initially very nervous of any potential threats but has become more confident over the years. The status of having bred the first white tailed eagle chicks in Ireland since the extinction of the breed in over 100 years ago has earned this pair a special place in history.
The plumage of both birds is more characteristic of the breed this year with the distinctive white tail, pale head, and yellow bill more apparent than previously