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Clare County Library


Species Introduction
Marine Mammals

Other Mammals
Ducks, Geese and Swans
Birds of Prey
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Other Birds

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Numbers of breeding Cuckoos has declined in Ireland over the past 25 years. However in the Burren a significant population remains, making the Burren a stronghold of Cuckoos in Ireland. Other places in Clare such as Tullaher bog contain good numbers of Cuckoos.
Habitat: A variety of habitats including farmland, wetlands, peatlands and open woodlands.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of habitat due to drainage (particularly of fens and marshes), peat cutting and agricultural intensification including hedge removal.

Robin Erithacus rubecula
The Robin is probably the most common and the most well known bird in Ireland. The Robin is the top species recorded in the Birdwatch Ireland garden bird survey, and has been for several years.
Habitat: Woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of habitat and wet and cold winters. Also pesticide use in gardens.


House sparrow Passer domesticus and Tree sparrow Passer montanus
The House sparrow is quite common in Clare and the rest of Ireland. However it is declining in Britain and other parts of Europe. The Tree sparrow is declining in Ireland and only remains in three areas in Clare.
Habitat: Most habitats including farmland, although usually not in upland areas. The House sparrow is often also found in urban areas, where as the Tree sparrow is mainly found in coastal areas in Clare
What could or does threaten the population: Lack of grain due to a decline in tillage areas. This is because in the past farms had more mixed enterprises including tillage. Also where grain is grown modern storage and mechanised harvesting reduce the grain lost and thus available to birds. Due to tidiness and modernisation there are less crevices in buildings, which reduces nesting sites. And also there is less rough grassland which reduces insects and seeds available.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
The lapwing is a relatively common bird in Clare and in Ireland. Lapwings can be found in most parts of Clare.
Habitat: Require a mosaic of habitats including wetlands, grasslands and tillage. Lapwings breed on Turlough edges and on wet farmland.
What could or does threaten the population: Agricultural intensification including drainage, changes in land use and use of chemicals is leading to a loss of rough grassland and wetlands, which is a loss of nesting habitats.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
The numbers of Kingfishers are somewhat reducing throughout Ireland including County Clare. Kingfishers can be found near several rivers in Clare including the river Fergus.
Habitat: Rivers and lakes. The Kingfisher is known to move to coastal areas in the winter.
What could or does threaten the population: Water pollution causes a reduction of food i.e. fish. Loss of habitat, disturbance of nests on river banks and predation by Mink threaten Kingfisher populations.

Skylark Alauda arvensis
The numbers of skylarks in Ireland are showing moderate decline. The Skylark can be found in most parts of Clare.
Habitat: Farmland including grassland and tillage.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of habitat and reduction of insects due to agricultural intensification. The loss of grain particularly spring sown crops and the lack of winter stubble remaining reduces feeding areas.

Swallow Hirundo rustica
The Swallow is common throughout Clare and the rest of Ireland. The swallow is declining in numbers in many other parts of Europe.
Habitat: Farmland both upland and lowland. Nests in buildings.
What could or does threaten the population: Lack of access to buildings due to modernisation. Agricultural intensification leading to a reduction in nesting sites and insects.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
The Yellowhammer is declining in numbers in Clare and the rest of Ireland. However Yellowhammers are found in winter on the Clare Galway border, due to the fact that there is more grain in these areas. In summer they move throughout the Burren to breed. The Burren National Park is a particularly good location to see them in the summer.
Habitat: Open farmland including grain fields. Nests in hedges or scrub.
What could or does threaten the population: Loss of habitat especially tillage areas and intensification of grassland management.