Glasgow Zoo Park
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Annie is in her late 20s, meet her at the Bird of Prey area of Glasgow Zoopark

Annie is a bit ashamed of herself as we enter May 2001. Sitting posing majestically on a stump at the Clyde Valley Hawks display area near the entrance to Glasgow Zoopark the extra weight she, like many of us, has put on over winter is taking its toll. A cheeky pigeon alighted on the ground and brazenly made for Annie's water bowl, just a few metres from the ever watchful Annie. Luckily for the pigeon and to Annie's shame all she did was watch the intruder. Once she gets back to her hunting weight of 12 pounds rather than her current 15, it would be a foolhardy pigeon that attempts a repeat performance.

Annie enjoys "mothering" her keepers and thinks nothing of preening their arms, shirts etc which is fine until you remember that those humans don't have feathers and if you come along you can see that Annie's talons and beak are formidable to say the least. However, she likes human contact and gets quite put out if she doesn't get her tummy rubbed in the morning.

Golden Eagles for Ireland

As a boy in the north of Ireland, I (Richard O'Grady) remembered hikes to Ballycastle to watch Ireland's only resident pair of golden eagles at their eyrie on Fair Head, opposite Rathlin Island.
So it was interesting to learn that the Irish government has funded a 100,000 project to release 65 Scottish golden eagles in County Donegal through to 2005.
A Irish team will take under licence 15 golden eagles from nest in the Scottish Highlands in June 2001 when the birds are about six weeks old.
They will be flown to Donegal and placed in cages in Glenveagh National Park, where they will be fed for six weeks with minimal human contact. At 12 weeks, they will be released into the wild.

In Scotland, the golden eagle has been brought back virtually from the brink of extinction and now numbers 421 pairs.