It's wild: Wren is king of the
IT'S official. The wren is Ireland's most common bird
with more than six million of them populating our
countryside, latest data shows.
The small brownish bird (Irish: Dreolín) with the
incredibly loud song, tops a league table of the most
populous adult birds nesting here, followed by the
swallow, robin and blackbird.
The chaffinch, rook,
jackdaw, starling, woodpigeon and house sparrow complete
the top ten in the survey published in the international
journal 'Bird Study'.
It also shows that Ireland now has a population of a
staggering 62 million individual common and breeding
adult birds covering 51 species.
Birdwatch Ireland development officer Niall Hatch said
the data was collected through an analysis of its
Countryside Bird Survey and the Bird Atlas 2007 - 2011.
"The figures are the best available estimates of how
many of our common and widespread birds there are in
Ireland," said Mr Hatch.
"While the wren tops the table at more than six million
birds, the summer migrant swallow comes a close second
and the robin is not too far behind.
"Knowing how many birds we have is really important.
When these results are combined with those from other
European countries, we can measure just how important
Ireland is for our common and widespread birds. This
helps us to prioritise where action is most needed,"
said Mr Hatch.
The data shows that Ireland
currently has a population of 6.2m adult wrens; 5.8m
swallows; 5.4m robins; 4.9m blackbirds and 4.2m
chaffinches. It has 3.7m rooks; 2.8m jackdaws and 2.7m
starlings. The bird population will be significantly
higher with the birth of juveniles in the current
Meanwhile, Spring favourite, the blue tit, lies in
eleventh place at 2.2m while the dunnock takes twelfth
position at 1.7m. We have 1.3m great tits; almost
957,000 song thrushes and almost 917,000 goldfinches.
While some might view it as
a noisy pest, the stunning magpie numbers just over
755,000 adult birds here.
Mr Hatch said Ireland's non-extreme weather and its
geographical location as the last outpost in Europe
contributes to making it a rich habitat for birdlife.
Ireland's bird population:
House Sparrow 2,418,810
Blue Tit 2,294,930
Meadow Pipit 1,719,240
Willow Warbler 1,665,140
Great Tit 1,377,130
Song Thrush 956,440
Coal Tit 925,390