We received some great news last week that the white-tailed eagle that was rescued from the north Aberdeenshire coast almost a year ago has returned to Ireland! See previous blog here.
The 2010 bird with the wing tags white/blue “3” was detected through radio tracking back in county Kerry after being released from Fife in December 2011. He had only been seen on one occasion since by staff at Drumpelier country park before vanishing from our radio tracking “radar”. See this blog.
After such a traumatic experience and having spending a month being washed and rehabilitated, we were delighted to see him take to the skies again, and now having made his way all the way back to Ireland! Thanks again to SSPCA for all of their hard work.
When X came to visit the food dump....
The 2012 cohort of east coast white-tailed eagles have been in the wild for over two weeks already! Since their release, we have been maintaining a food dump at the release site to help them get started.
In the wild, when the young birds fledge, the adults will regularly provision them with the odd fish or piece of carrion here and there until they can confidently hunt independently. As there are no adult birds in the area to help the young east coast fledglings during their first few weeks in the wild, we do our best by leaving food out for them in the woods that they “fledged” from.
It took the young birds almost a week to discover the food dump and to start using it. The first bird to arrive was Gray A-a young male that was released on the first day of releases on the 20th of August. He struggled to land on it the first time round as it was a very windy day, but now that he is a more competent flyer, he is having no trouble getting stuck in!
Gray T, a female who shared an aviary with Gray A joined him the following day, and eventually Gray X- another young female released on the 24th.
We have been fortunate enough to have the use of a motion-sensing camera on the food dump that can take photographs when there is a bird at the food dump. This has provided us with extremely useful and interesting information about which birds are coming in to use it and when....and also some of the behavioural quirks that are being displayed here!
This has proved quite fascinating, and a clear “pecking order” seems to have been established with Gray T the more dominant individual!
She seems to be tolerating Gray A more than Gray X, and we have been getting regular footage of some squabbling between T and X!
There has been no sign of Red E (the 2011 male that has been seen in the woods) using the food dump yet, or Gray H and R. Maybe they're tired of venison!