Irish Birds

The fourth Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland review has just been
published in the journal ‘Irish Birds’; 63% of regularly occurring Irish bird
species are now threatened, with 54 species on the ‘Red List’ (high
conservation concern) and 79 on the ‘Amber List’ (medium concern).
Farmland and upland birds (especially waders) are most affected. Once
common species are disappearing from large swathes of the country. An
inspiring book, ‘Curlew Moon’ by Mary Colwell, chronicles the sad decline of
this iconic species, whose distinctive call is beloved by so many. Birds such
as Snipe and Lapwing, also with evocative breeding sounds, Meadow Pipit,
with its captivating parachute breeding displays, or Skylark singing from on
high are suffering devastating declines. Efforts are now underway to try
and prevent some species from becoming extinct in Ireland. Meanwhile, it
is important that wild areas are retained; every boggy field margin is
needed. On a more positive note, 78 species on the ‘Green List’ are doing
better, some even increasing in numbers. Large flocks of the charismatic
Goldfinch at feeders, mewing Buzzards soaring overhead, recent colonisers
such as Little Egret and Great Spotted Woodpecker all add to biodiversity.