White Tailed Eagle
Status in Northern Ireland:
Previously a resident breeder but persecuted to extinction by the early 1900s. Recently reintroduced to the Republic of Ireland (Co. Kerry) where now breeding; expected to breed again in Northern Ireland in coming years. Sub-adults currently seen infrequently. Listed as a Northern Ireland Priority Species.
A massive sea eagle often called a ‘flying barn door’. Adult plumage is identical between sexes, with mostly brown upper and underparts with pale mottling, a pale head, large yellow bill and a distinctive white tail. Juveniles have similar mottled dark plumage with a black bill and a dark head and tail. The sea eagle frequents large inland water bodies and coastal areas. A generalist predator with a varied diet but especially seabirds, fish and carrion. Builds huge stick nests in trees or on cliffs, sometimes on the ground. Conservation threats include illegal persecution such as shooting and poisoning.