Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

The barn owl will be familiar to many as the signature bird of RTE’s flagship Friday night programme, “The Late Late Show”. This is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most striking birds, but unfortunately the Barn Owl’s ghostly silhouette and its characteristic rasping shriek are becoming increasingly scarce in Ireland. Adult barn owls are 33 – […]

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

The blackbird is a ubiquitous bird of Irish parks and gardens, and is a common sight everywhere from the heart of our largest cities to the remotest rural setting. Originally a woodland bird the blackbird now exploits the wide variety of habitats presented to it by people. The species does very well on agricultural land […]

Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)

The blue tit is one of Ireland’s smallest and most attractive birds. Its distinctive cobalt crown, blue and yellow plumage, white cheek patches and black eye-stripe are unmistakable as it hops acrobatically from branch to branch in search of insect larvae, or hangs upside down at the garden peanut feeder. Ireland’s commonest tit species, the […]

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

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 […]

Coal Tit (Periparus ater)

The coal tit is one of the “usual suspects”, commonly seen at practically every peanut feeder in Ireland. Over the winter this tiny bird, one of our smallest, is a regular visitor to garden birdtables and feeders. It has a particular penchant for peanuts, and should the opportunity present itself the enterprising coal tit will […]

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

The dunnock is a small brown bird that is a common, if rather shy visitor to many Irish gardens. Still referred to by many by its old name of hedge sparrow, the dunnock isn’t actually related to the sparrows at all. It is the only Irish representative of the accentor family – a group of […]

Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)

The jay is one of Ireland’s most striking birds with its brightly coloured pink, black, white and blue plumage. Although they are the most colourful member of the crow family, jays can be surprisingly difficult to see. They are shy, and secretive woodland birds that rarely venture far from cover. If there are jays in […]

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Ask a cross-section of the population to name their favourite bird and chances are a high proportion will say the robin. These endearing little birds that feature so prominently at Christmas time have become ubiquitous in our parks and gardens. They are perhaps the one species of bird that practically everybody in the country can […]

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

The diminutive goldcrest is not only Ireland’s smallest bird, but also Europe’s – a title it shares with its close relative the firecrest. It is widespread and found throughout the country, and often visits gardens, especially during winter months. Despite it’s restless, flitting behaviour and distinctive markings this bird’s tiny size makes it easy to […]

Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)

The languid flight of the hen harrier, gliding with wings held in its characteristic shallow V, has become a rare sight in Ireland. Historically one of our most persecuted birds of prey, the hen harrier’s habit of taking free-range domestic fowl (which led to the bird’s common name) did little to endear it to poultry […]

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