Around 450 different bird species have been recorded on the island of Ireland, and although a lot of them are migratory and rare, now is the best chance to catch a glimpse of them as they return north to build nests and prepare for the breeding season.
Esri Ireland, a market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has created a digital map highlighting the flight paths of a number of migratory birds which have returned to Ireland’s shores having flown south for the winter. The maps are to mark World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), which falls on May 13th, an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Esri has also launched a survey asking for public participation to help it provide the most accurate information possible about the locations of returning birds.
This will be welcome news for any birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts out there, with birds such as the Arctic Tern, the Manx Shearwater, the Swift, the Sand Martin, the Cuckoo, the Swallow, and the Wheateater amongst the feathered friends calling Ireland home until the autumn.
The Arctic tern has travelled the furthest to pay us a visit, with its migration clocking in at a whopping 19,000KM, while you’ll have to be quick to see the swift. The bird lives up to its name and is one of the fastest birds in Ireland, reaching speeds of 112KM/H!
To help in the conservation efforts and allow for the most accurate mapping of these creatures as possible, people in Ireland can share a photo and the location of the birds spotted using ESRI Ireland’s survey. Everyone is encouraged to grab a pair of binoculars, get outdoors, and see what they can see!