We’re guessing that most of you weren’t around in the late 19th century. But if you had been, and if you were living in Ireland and looked up now and then, it would have been hard not to notice that something had gradually gone missing from the skies: the magnificent white-tailed eagle. After all, it had a wingspan of up to eight feet—these birds were sometimes referred to as “flying barn doors”—and that’s the sort of thing one pays attention to. But, sadly, the white-tailed eagle was driven to extinction by what has been described as “human persecution.”
Fortunately, the species (which is sometimes known as the sea eagle) survived elsewhere. And now 21 eagle chicks imported from Norway have been released around Ireland in the hope that they can reestablish themselves.