England’s last golden eagle thought to be dead

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flickr by USFWS Mountain-Prairie

WILDLIFE experts have announced that golden eagles may officially be a thing of the past in England, after the only known specimen in the country has failed to make his yearly appearance this spring.

The bird has been living at Riggindale near Haweswater, Cumbria, since 2001, and he has not been spotted in the area since November, even though spring usually marks the time of year when he should be building a nest and attempting to attract a mate.

The eagle, who had no name, was believed to be about 20 years old and had been a bachelor ever since his partner died back in 2004. Since then thousands upon thousands of eager birdwatchers have made the trek to Haweswater in the hopes of catching a glimpse of this golden rarity.

Due to his advanced age, experts have indicated that the bird likely died of natural causes, but they stated that this didn’t make the news any less heartbreaking.

Adrian Long of Birdlife International pointed out that “we must remember that decades of altering our landscape and habitats has caused this iconic bird to no longer patrol the skies of England,” although he leavened his sad pronouncement with a pinch of optimism, adding, “I hope that eagles will one day be seen flying in the hills of England again, with perhaps some of the Scottish population moving south.”

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