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Clare County Library


Species Introduction
Marine Mammals
Other Mammals
Ducks, Geese and Swans
Other Birds
Vascular Plants

Birds of Prey

Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus
Peregrine Falcon numbers are increasing in County Clare and the rest of Ireland. However they are declining in the rest of Europe. The Peregrine Falcon can be found at many cliff sites in Clare.
Habitat: Upland cliffs and sea cliffs. Wetlands and farmland for feeding.
What could or does threaten the population: Persecution, organochlorine chemicals present in prey and capture for falconry.

Hen harrier Circus cyaneus
There are at least 100 breeding pairs of Hen harriers in Ireland. They have been declining over the past 40-50 years, however appear to have been stable over the past ten years. They are mainly found in East Clare in areas such as the Slieve Aughties where there are 13-23 pairs and Slieve Bernagh where there are 3-4 pairs. They can also be found in smaller numbers in Southwest Clare.
Habitat: Areas of low vegetation such as traditionally managed farmland, wetlands, moorlands and young conifer plantations.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of habitat through afforestation, peat cutting and drainage. Also wind turbines can threaten Hen harrier populations .

Barn owl Tyto alba
There is a small population of Barn owls in Clare, with about 20 pairs recorded in the 1990s. They are declining in most parts of the country. Barn owls nest and roost in old farm buildings in Clare. The other owl which breeds in Clare is the Long-eared owl.
Habitat: Roosts and nests in old buildings and trees. Feeds over hedgerows, woodland edges, field edges and rough ground.
Barn Owl
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of suitable habitat due to agricultural intensification. Rodents are a major food source for the Barn owl. Lack of tillage leading to less rodents as well as poisoning of rodents is threatening Barn owls.