For the last few days, I have been watching a beautiful male blackbird in the garden. He arrives around the same time every day, flying up from the wooded valley that runs away from my house.I am not sure if my garden forms part of his territory or he is just visiting for a quick meal. We think our green spaces belong to us but at this time of the year birds and other … [Read more...] about Going wild at home: The Blackbird.
In this guest post, contributor Charlotte Klassa takes a closer look at many people's favourite Irish seabird, the colourful and charismatic Puffin.The Atlantic Puffin is a strange bird. It looks like a penguin and a toucan rolled into one. This is the tell-tale sign of the auk family of birds: that butler-like dignity and tail-coat. People can concentrate on this plump … [Read more...] about Puffins of Ireland
Watching your local wildlife, even the familiar characters that surround you every day, is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. But it's always exciting when something a little out of the ordinary shows up.That happened here on the West Cork coast a few days ago, when news broke that a local birder had found an adult Rose-coloured Starling (Pastor roseus) near Galley … [Read more...] about Rose coloured starling on holiday in West Cork
In this, the final feature in our four-part series on beginning birdwatching, we take a look at some ways you can take your budding birding hobby to the next level. The Birding for Beginners series is brought to you in association with Hawke OpticsBirding is an exciting and diverse hobby that has something for everybody. One of the real beauties of catching the bird … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: The Next Steps
In this feature, the third in our four-part series on beginning birdwatching, we take a look at some of the equipment owned by birders, and how choosing the right equipment will help you to develop your bird watching skills. The Birding for Beginners series is brought to you in association with Hawke OpticsWhile it's true that all you need to start your bird watching … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: bird watching equipment
In this feature, the second in our four-part series on beginning birdwatching, we take a look at your garden birds, your local patch, and how getting to know them better can help you improve as a birder.The Birding for Beginners series is brought to you in association with Hawke OpticsIt's tempting when you're just getting started with bird watching to head … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: getting to know your local birds
Bird watching or birding is a fascinating pastime enjoyed by vast numbers of people around the world. It's a hobby that's growing in popularity here in Ireland as more people discover the joy that watching birds can bring. From following the antics of common birds at our garden feeders, to appreciating the birds of the various habitats that criss-cross this island, to … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: why watch birds?
We've just heard from our Official Garden Wildlife Partner CJ Wildlife that they're offering 30% off their premium whole peanuts and 10% off all of their peanut feeders until the end of March.Peanuts are an excellent energy-packed source of nutrition for birds. With nesting season looming, adult birds need to pack in as much nourishment as possible, as efficiently as … [Read more...] about Peanuts for peanuts — 30% off — order yours now!
During the winter short days and long nights limit the time birds have to forage, while at the same time natural food becomes more scarce. Our garden birds have increasingly come to depend on the food we provide as an essential supplement to what they can find for themselves at this challenging time of year.According to bird conservation organisations like Birdwatch Ireland … [Read more...] about 9 top tips for feeding your garden birds
Birds have always held a special draw for me.It was a a fascination with birds that first kindled my interest in wildlife as a youngster. I guess you could say that they were my first wildlife love, and while I'm interested in all sorts of wildlife today, birds will always hold a special significance. I suspect many wildlife enthusiasts have a similar story to tell.I'm … [Read more...] about Book Review: Ireland’s Birds; Myths, Legends and Folklore
The hooded crow, grey crow or “hoodie” as it's sometimes called, is almost identical to the closely related carrion crow (Corvus corone) except for its distinctive grey and black plumage. The two birds are so similar in fact that until recently they were considered to be different races of the same species, but now hooded crows have been formally acknowledged as a species in … [Read more...] about Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
Have you ever struggled to tell your bar-tailed from your black-tailed godwit? How about differentiating your dabbling ducks, or getting to grips with gulls and grebes?No matter how experienced a bird watcher you are, there are always species that will prove tricky, and there will be times (sometimes lots of them) when you're not quite sure what species you're looking at. … [Read more...] about Book Review: The Helm Guide to Bird Identification
A social media storm is brewing surrounding an ill-informed and disturbingly inaccurate radio interview about birds conducted on the Pat Kenny Show on national Irish radio station Newstalk FM yesterday (Wed 14 January).On the show, host Pat Kenny (pictured left) introduced Biochemistry Professor, Luke O'Niell (yes, you read that right -- a professor of biochemistry), about … [Read more...] about Raptors in the firing line on national radio show
They say familiarity breeds contempt... and, in the case of the chaffinch that's probably true. The male chaffinch in its full breeding regalia is one of our most colourful and striking birds. If it wasn't for the fact that we see them so often we'd marvel at these colourful little finches.The chaffinch is found all over Ireland in woodlands, parks, gardens, fields, scrub … [Read more...] about Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Regular IW contributor Albert Nolan reflects on how a bit of winter digging benefits the bird life in his garden. It was a day when you would have fought to have a shovel in your hand as the icy wind slipped easily through layers of clothes. I was finishing off a new bed that I had started a few weeks ago and for once the frosty weather had been a great help in … [Read more...] about Digging, for the birds!
Pros: Quality finish and materials. Robust construction. Easy and convenient to dismantle and clean (no tools required). Innovative "feeding rings". Ventilation system keeps food fresh.Cons: None so far.Rating: Highly RecommendedPrice: from €21.95 for the 3-port feeder to €31.95 for the 7-port feederAn excellent all-round seed feeder that's built to last from … [Read more...] about Gear Review: CJ Wildlife Apollo “Easy Clean” Seed Feeder
There are no two ways about it, a lot of our wildlife is incredibly tricky to see.You can get lucky, of course. Occasionally birds, and even mammals, lizards or amphibians, will appear out of nowhere, seemingly oblivious to your presence as you marvel them in close proximity. These are, by and large, the exception rather than the rule. Most of the the time wildlife watching … [Read more...] about Book Review: Tracks and Signs of the Animals and Birds of Britain and Europe
Under the banner of Operation Godwit an international team of scientists has been studying the Icelandic black-tailed godwit since the 1990s. Unique combinations of colour rings placed on the birds' legs on their breeding grounds in Iceland and on their wintering grounds in Western Europe allow individual birds to be identified, and mean that when birdwatchers around Europe … [Read more...] about Cork school children contribute to international godwit study