Stealthy barn owl remains one of Ireland's rarest hunters

The Barn Owl--Scréachóg reilige in Irish and Tyto alba in its Latin nomenclature--is one of Ireland's rarest hunters, with a sense of hearing far surpassing that of humankind. By Niall Hatch.

A creature of legend and folklore, the Barn Owl is one of Ireland’s most enigmatic birds. It occurs in most parts of the island, though at very low densities, and nowhere is it common. It is also an extremely difficult species to see on account of its nocturnal behaviour and therefore goes unnoticed by most people.

First woodpeckers in Irish history spotted

The Great Spotted Woodpecker - known officially as "Dendrocopos majoras" and as "Mórchnagaire breac" in Irish - has recently been sighted in Counties Wicklow and Down, making it the first species of woodpecker ever to settle in Ireland. By Niall Hatch.

When giving talks to group about Ireland’s woodland birds, and especially when using bird identification books and materials designed with a British audience in mind, I used to always insert the caveat, “Of course, we don’t have any woodpeckers in Ireland.”

Wildlife enthusiasts to celebrate National Dawn Chorus Day

Wildlife enthusiasts across the country are set to rise early this Sunday to celebrate National Dawn Chorus Day 2010. By Niall Hatch.

BirdWatch Ireland’s most popular annual event, National Dawn Chorus Day, will be taking place this coming Sunday, 16 May.  This is traditionally the day when wildlife enthusiasts the length and breadth of Ireland set their alarm clocks a little earlier than usual and go out to enjoy a morning of beautiful birdsong.