The golden eagle is Ireland’s second largest bird of prey. Golden Eagles were once common in Ireland but were hunted to extinction in1912. Thanks to ongoing re-introduction efforts of the Golden Eagle Trust a breeding population in Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal has been established.
Males and females of this species are identical in appearance having dark brown plumage covering their body with a golden sheen running down the back of the head and neck. Like most birds of prey, female golden eagles are bigger than males. Juveniles look slightly different by having a large white rump and tail feathers. Through moulting each year, the young eagles will lose these feathers with new ones coming through, eventually ending up with full adult plumage after about 4-5 years.
Least Concern. However, in Ireland golden eagles are Red Listed as they became extinct here in the early 1900’s. Re-introduction efforts began in 2001, with the first successful breeding occurring in 2007, in 2017 3 health chicks fledged from 3 separate breeding pairs.
Human activities including persecution, poisoning (intended for other species) and collision with man-made objects.