Robin is top Irish winter bird
THE annual BirdWatch
Garden Bird Survey gets underway later this month
with the robin set to retain its position as
Ireland's top winter bird.
The Christmas favourite, with its distinctive red
breast, was recorded in all 686 gardens surveyed in
the three months to February 2015.
This was the fifth season the robin came top of the
The feisty little species, was followed by the
blackbird, which was recorded in 99.6% of gardens,
retaining its position at number two.
The other eight most common visitors fighting it out
at the bird feeder were the blue tit spotted in
97.8% of gardens; magpie (94%); chaffinch (93.3%);
great tit (91.7%); house sparrow (86.2%); coal tit
(85.9%); goldfinch (84.7%) and wren (84.6%).
BirdWatch field surveyor Oran O'Sullivan said the
lack of snow in Ireland last year meant fewer
noticeable movements of birds into gardens in the
three months surveyed.
But he said the siskin
was found to be scarce (29th place) partly due to an
abundance of seeds in Irish forests.
"This was also noted in similar garden bird surveys
in the UK and with reports of a very good seed
harvest in conifer forests, meaning that (the siskin)
did not require the additional food supplies of many
gardens," Mr O'Sullivan told the latest edition of
BirdWatch Ireland's e-wings magazine.
Nuala and Tom Lynch, in Ennis, Co Clare took part in
the survey, noting: “A total of about 25 bird
species for our garden was about standard. We did
notice fewer of the tit family. Greenfinch and
starling were up, which is good to report.”
O’Sullivan appealed for more people to take part in
this year's Garden Bird Survey with last year's
participant number of 686 the lowest in seven years.
"Your results make it possible for us to monitor any
changes taking place in garden bird numbers and
their distribution nationally over time.
"As gardens support a high percentage of Ireland’s
resident birds through
the winter, this information is obviously very
important to us," he added.
The survey begins on November 30, 2015. To sign up