Deaths of two white-tailed eagles ‘severe blow’, says RSPB

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RSPB NI says it is “deeply shocked” after two white-tailed eagles were found dead in Glenwherry, Co Antrim.

The carcasses of the native birds of prey were discovered in the Glenhead Road area on Monday (May 15).

An RSPB NI spokesperson said : “RSPB NI is deeply shocked and concerned to hear about the deaths of two white-tailed eagles, and we await the results of post-mortem tests with great interest.

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"We urge anyone who has information relating to this incident to contact PSNI on the non-emergency number 101 as soon as possible or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

PSNI specialist unit collecting the carcasses.PSNI specialist unit collecting the carcasses.
PSNI specialist unit collecting the carcasses.

“Our investigations team will assist the PSNI in any way it can with its enquiries and we urge everyone to be vigilant and report suspicious activity or behaviour that could harm wildlife

“White-tailed eagles, one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, are a magnificent sight to behold. Unfortunately, Northern Ireland has not had a nesting population of white-tailed eagles for many years and these deaths are a severe blow to the eagle population.”

Distressing Discovery

Police are investigating the circumstances following the distressing discovery.

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PSNI Lead for Rural and Wildlife Crime, Superintendent McDowell said: “A report was made to police shortly before 2pm on Monday , after the discovery of two white-tailed eagles found beside one another. The birds had no obvious signs of injury and suspicions have been raised given the unlikely position where they were found.

“An investigation has now commenced with a post-mortem examination due to be carried out to determine the cause of death.

“The white-tailed eagle is the UK’s largest native bird of prey, with a vast wing span of up to 2.5 metres, and are an incredibly beautiful species, which makes the discovery of these dead birds very distressing. In particular, we are aware one of the birds was born in Norway and brought as a chick to be released in the lower Shannon estuary in 2022.

“If you have any information that can help with our investigation, please contact police on the non-emergency number 101 and quote 1096 15/05/23.”

Alternatively, a report can be submitted online using the non-emergency reporting form via