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White Tailed Eagle

Irish: Iolar Mara ná Earrach
Latin: Haliaeetus albicilla

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).

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

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

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.

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.