Science & Nature
A scarce and localised member of the crow family, now more or less confined to our western and southern coasts, the Chough is a species for which Ireland is of particular importance in a European context. The Irish population currently stands at just over 800 breeding pairs, making it one of the most significant in Western Europe.
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Common throughout Ireland year-round, though much more numerous in the winter with the arrival of migrants from Iceland and northern Europe, the Tufted Duck is really the only wild duck we have, apart from the Mallard which is comfortable visiting small ponds and parks. They can become quite tame around humans, and some will come to feed on bread where habitually offered, though our migrant visitors are warier.
A widespread bird in Ireland, the handsome Bullfinch is with us year-round. At home in woodland and dense hedgerows, it will often visit gardens to feed on wild berries, seeds, etc., though it will only fly to bird tables on rare occasions. Its favourite foods are tree and flower buds, which in the past served to make them very unpopular with orchard owners.