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White Tailed Eagle

Irish: Iolar Mara ná Earrach
Latin: Haliaeetus albicilla

Description:
Very large eagle with long broad wings and outer wing obviously 'fingered'. Fairly short bluntly wedge-shaped tail, long neck and heavy bill give a distinctive flight silhouette. Wingspan 190-240 cm. Adults are brown with paler yellowish-brown head and neck. Wedge tail pure white in adults. Juveniles' head, neck, body and wings are dark brown (though juvenile plumages vary from brown to almost black).

Habitat:
Predominantly found along sea coasts and large freshwater lakes and rivers.

Food:
Feeds on fish, waterbirds, carrion and offal. Often follows trawlers and feeds on the fish bycatch, which is dumped overboard.

Breeding:
Builds a bulky stick nest on rocky cliff-ledges and mature trees (spruce, birch etc). Lays 2 eggs (occasionally 3) from mid February to April. Incubation lasts 34-40 days and chicks remain in the nest for 10-12 weeks.

Status:
Extinct in Ireland since the early 1900s. Reintroduced into Killarney National Park in 2007. Vagrants from the growing Scottish population (which was reintroduced) are occasionally seen in in Ulster.