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Golden Eagle Movements

Golden Eagles in Britain are largely sedentary and adults that have acquired a territory are unlikely to move more than a few kilometres for the remainder of their lives. Non-breeding juveniles and immature eagles, by contrast, disperse over 150km. It is known that young birds wander furthest in their first two years before returning toward their natal areas in search of vacant territories. Such natal philopatry was probably inhibiting the potential for natural recolonisation of Ireland from a rather unproductive population of eagles in Southwest Scotland (Wernham 2002).

Since the Golden Eagles have been released in Golden there have been confirmed sightings and satellite tagging data showing these birds dispersing throughout the Northwest, from a line from Antrim to Galway. There have been Golden Eagle records from County Clare and County Kerry, probably of released Birds. And there has been a record of a Glenveagh bird on Rathlin Island also. Two records of wing tagged Golden Eagles on Mull, probably relate to Irish Eagles.

Females seem to disperse further than males as immatures. In Donegal, one of the breeding adult females has moved over 30 km between two breeding attempts, pairing with a new mate in a new territory, which is very unusual.