Named Conall, after Tír Chonaill (Donegal), the chick was born and reared in a Donegal eyrie last year, and had spent the last four months wandering around Yeats country, on the Sligo-Leitrim border. The bird was one of four fitted with a GPS satellite tag, and had his own blog on the Golden Eagle Trust website.
Two of four golden eagles fitted with satellite tags have now died of poisoning – the first just a year ago in west Donegal before the lambing season.
A total of nine birds of prey – comprising White tailed eagles, golden eagles and kites – have been killed by toxic substances in the last two and a half years.
The bird was found dead on Truskmore mountain, behind Ben Bulben on February 18th, and results of toxicology tests released by the trust yesterday have confirmed that he died after ingesting nitroxynil, poured over the fleece of a stillborn lamb. Nitroxynil is found in Throdax, used to treat liver fluke in livestock.
Lorcan O'Toole of the Golden Eagle Trust said yesterday new-born lambs are not treated for liver fluke, and it is illegal to use such an animal as poisoned bait.
Details have been given to the Garda in Sligo, and Mr O'Toole said that no local farmers in the Glencar waterfall, Lough Gill and Gleniff area had any new-born lambs outdoors.