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Avian Influenza hits Irish seabird colonies

Northern Gannet

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI H5N1) has hit Irish seabird colonies this breeding season after running rampant through similar colonies in the UK earlier this year. The disease, which can infect a wide range of bird species, appears to have hit breeding Gannet colonies particularly hard. Gannets, our larges seabird,….

Rare Marsh Harrier breeds successfully in Ireland again

Marsh Harrier Breeds in Ireland Again

For the first time in more than a century, not one, but two pairs of Marsh Harrier have bred successfully in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Raptor Study Group (IRSG) confirmed in December that the rare birds of prey successfully reared young at sites in counties Galway and Westmeath….

White-tailed eagle chicks fledge successfully in 3 counties

Juvenile white-tailed-eagle takes flight

A total of six white-tailed eagle chicks successfully fledged from five nests in three different counties in 2016, making this the most successful year to date in the long-term reintroduction programme for this iconic bird of prey in Ireland. Eight pairs of white-tailed eagle attempted to breed and successfully laid….

Buzzards on patch… what a buzz!

Buzzard pair in West Cork

I’ve always had a soft spot for buzzards. I grew up on the North Wales coast, where buzzards were relatively common. I’d hear their lofty mewling calls as I walked to meet the school bus in the morning, and would watch them soaring overhead in the afternoon as I returned home. They….

White-tailed eagle found dead in Co. Fermanagh

White Tailed Eagle Dead Fermanagh

The body of a white-tailed eagle was recovered by PSNI officers from the Newbridge Road area of Lisnaskea in Co. Fermanagh on Saturday 07 February. Commenting on the PSNI Fermanagh post on Facebook, Dr Alan Mee, coordinator of the white-tailed eagle reintroduction project for the Golden Eagle Trust said: “Sad end to….

Hen Harrier blog-star “Heather” shot dead in Co. Kerry

Hen harrier shot in Co. Kerry Ireland

A young hen harrier has been found shot dead near Waterville in Co. Kerry. The satellite tagged bird-of-prey, a young female dubbed “Heather” by local schoolchildren, was part of a joint project by regional development organisation IRD Duhallow and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Heather became an online star via the….

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Peregrine Falcon by Neil O'Reilly via Flickr

The peregrine falcon is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most impressive birds. A large, powerful falcon it is considered by many to be the ultimate bird-of-prey, diving in a spectacular, vertical stoop to strike its quarry – other birds – in mid air. The peregrine is thought to reach speeds of….

Ireland’s first white-tailed eagle fledgling shot dead in Tipparary

One of the first two white-tailed eagles to hatch in Ireland in more than a century has been found shot dead in Co. Tipperary. The male bird was one of two chicks reared successfully by a pair of re-introduced eagles at a nest site on Lough Derg near Mountshannon in….

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Sparrowhawk portrait Ireland's Wildlife

Fast and agile, the sparrowhawk is a supremely capable aerial predator. This fierce-looking bird is one of our most common and widespread raptors, and is found throughout the country. However its shy and secretive nature means that it often goes undetected. Sparrowhawks are medium-sized birds, with a body length of….

First Irish white-tailed eagle chicks fledge at Mountshannon, Co. Clare

White tailed eagle fledgling at Mountshannon, Co. Clare

Irish born white-tailed eagles are on the wing again for the first time in more than a century. A pair of reintroduced adult eagles successfully reared two chicks at a nest site on Lough Derg, near Mountshannon, Co. Clare. Both chicks fledged successfully last week in what is a momentous….

Birdwatch Ireland responds to Cllr.’s “Open Season on Hen Harrier” remarks

Female Hen Harrier

Ireland’s largest conservation charity, Birdwatch Ireland, has responded strongly to recent comments by Limerick Co. Councillor John Sheahan calling for an “Open Season” on the protected hen harrier — one of most threatened birds. “Cllr. Sheahan’s ill-informed and short-sighted statement shows how far we have to travel as a state….

Peregrine falcons shot in Co. Tipperary

Female peregrine found dead in Tipperary

Peregrine falcons nesting in south Tipperary have been deliberately shot in a spate of attacks over recent weeks according to a report from Bridwatch Ireland. The birds, two of which died and one which sustained permanent injury, are believed to have been shot in three separate incidents. The body of….