[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Irish eagle chick is first in century
The golden eagle chick is five weeks old
The golden eagle chick is five weeks old
A wild golden eagle has been hatched in Ireland for the first time in nearly a century.

Two chicks were hatched in a remote area of the Glenveagh National Park in County Donegal but one of the young birds died after five days.

There will be a further nervous wait to see if the remaining chick can continue to grow and fledge in late July.

Golden eagles last bred in Glenveagh back in 1910.

The bird had become extinct in Ireland but was reintroduced at Glenveagh six years ago in an effort to reintroduce the bird to Ireland.

The new chick, whose father is from Skye and mother from Sutherland, is now just five weeks old.

Project manager for the Golden Eagle Trust Lorcan O'Toole said he was delighted at the news.

"We think it is a girl but we are not quite sure. It is still relatively small," he explained.

"Eagle chicks are quite vulnerable but she will quickly grow."

The trust has been monitoring the birds in Donegal for the last five or six years.

'Milestone'

Eggs are normally laid around mid March and take six weeks to hatch.

This first wild golden eagle is described by conservationists as a milestone in efforts to reverse the decline of native animal and plant species in Ireland.

"Emotionally we are just delighted to have such a wild creature breeding in Ireland once again," Mr O'Toole said.

"Golden eagles would have been quite a common sight, 300 or 400 years ago. But they have had a pretty poor history for the last two to three centuries.

"We just feel that it is a good omen and it bodes well for the future where we can all maybe show more awareness of our landscape."

The birds were recently reintroduced to Ireland from Scotland with the assistance of various enthusiasts.

In Scotland, under wise management, there are still 420 pairs of golden eagles.

But the eagles have died out in Wales and the few remaining English eagles can only be found in the Lake District.

"Maybe if there is a bit more tolerance of wildlife, we can see some of these species return to their former haunts," Mr O'Toole said.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The golden eagle chick nesting





FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific