Raven (Corvus corax)

Seen close up the raven is a truly magnificent bird. The largest member of the crow family, it is the biggest passerine (perching) bird in Europe, and occurs all over Ireland. Size is the raven’s most distinguishing feature. At 54 to 68 cm long, with a wingspan doubling that, it dwarfs any other black bird found in […]

Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)

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 […]

Ireland’s Wildlife: Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

The fieldfare is a large, attractive thrush that is a widespread and abundant winter visitor to these shores. Most of the birds that overwinter here originate in Scandinavia and the number of birds and the time of their arrival varies from year to year depending on the severity of the winter and the state of […]

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 […]

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

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 up to 180 mph as […]

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 […]

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

The lapwing, also called the green plover and the peewit, is a common resident and winter visitor on coastal mudflats and mixed farmland all over Ireland. Despite this attractive wader’s common and widespread status, alarmingly populations have declined by more than 50% in 25 years. The species is red-listed on the Birds of Conservation Concern […]

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 […]

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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 between 28 and 30 centimetres […]

Long Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Few birds in Ireland are as endearing as the long tailed tit. The acrobatic antics of this small, fluffy bird with its extraordinarily long tail are a joy to behold as it flits from tree to tree. It occasionally frequents gardens, usually in small family groups, and sometimes visits peanut feeders and fat balls to […]

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