9 of the 10 birds imported in 2004 were fitted with radio transmitters and wing tags on the10th August. The tenth bird was not marked as its right thigh (tibia) had a hairline fracture. The birds are marked with a rectangular PVC tag placed in the middle of each upper wing. This year’s wing tag colour is Green. There are no colour bars at the bases of the tags but the white letters on each tag are 75mm high, instead of 50mm. The releases were postponed on the 12th due to bad weather, but the cages were opened on the 13th September. The 9 birds began to feed at the food dumps on the 18th. Green T was in the feeding area on the 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19th but was not located on the 20th or 21st of August. It was back in the Glenveagh National Park on the 22nd but was absent from the Park on the 25th & 26th. On the 30th August it was seen in marginal farmland to the north of the Park, near Creeselough. Despite several days’ radio tracking and searching in this area, and surrounding areas, in early September, Green T was not located. This was the first time a newly released eagle left the feeding stations so quickly.
This year’s cohort included 8 females and 2 males - a 7 to 3 ratio would have been ideal. We deliberately collected more females this year in an effort to counterbalance the suspected loss of 3 females to date (2 probable deaths and 1 in Dublin Zoo).
Red A returned to Arroo, Dartry Mountains in County Leitrim on the 3rd August and was present on the 4th also. Joe Kavanagh saw it briefly. Red F and Red K were radio tracked west of Glenveagh on the 11th. Red K was in the Blue Stacks on the 12th and Red F was near Crocknapeast Mountain, SW Donegal, on the 13th. Red K was back near Dunlewey, adjacent to Glenveagh on the 20th. Blue O was radio tracked in the Blue Stacks Mountains repeatedly during August.