Richard Collins

Arctic tern completes longest journey every recorded

Although extraordinary performances were seen in Rio, human athletic feats are in the halfpenny place compared to those of wild creatures; an Arctic tern has just completed the longest annual journey known to have been made by any living thing, writes Richard Collins

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Little bird finds a home amid all the noise in Dublin

A tree in Dublin’s St Anne’s Park, just opposite the famous Bull Island, became unsafe and had to be cropped. 

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Returning from brink of oblivion

New Zealand has no native land mammals, apart from a few bats. 

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Meet the little bird who ate too much

In the RTE television series Charlie, the former Taoiseach is seen at dinner with his friend, French president Francois Mitterand. They are tucking into a dish of ortolan buntings.

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Massive cull of hippos in Zambia

ACCORDING to the animal charity Born Free Foundation, hippos are being culled in Zambia, writes Richard Collins

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Ancient census of royal swans helps to conserve the bird

The ancient ritual of ‘swan upping’ commences at Sunbury Lock on the River Thames at nine o’clock this morning, writes Richard Collins

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Rare visitor arrives to our shores

ON FEBRUARY 15 last year, a woman walking along a beach in the Scilly Isles spotted a large whale close to shore. 

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'Brexits' occur in animal kingdom too through migration

Brexits aren’t confined to EU politics, they occur in the animal kingdom also. 

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New evidence on human evolution on the Indonesian island of Flores

IN 1957 Theodor Verhoeven, a Dutch Catholic priest who was also an archaeologist, found ancient stone tools on the Indonesian island of Flores. 

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Devil-may-care flight of the swift

Swifts arrive from Africa in May and leave in August, writes Richard Collins

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Mary Anning was the fossil princess of Devon

In 2001, the Jurassic Coast of Devon and Dorset joined the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands and Skellig Michael on the list of World Heritage Sites. 

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‘Bonnie and Clyde’ capybaras still on the run

The Toronto news-media is enjoying itself; two capybaras, which escaped from the local zoo, have become celebrities. 

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Seychelles warblers are on the verge of extinction

The ‘slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune’ wear us down eventually but, when it comes to longevity, they’re not the only players. Our body cells have their own agendas; they decide when it’s time “to shuffle off this mortal coil”, writes Richard Collins

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Do animals which pose a threat to people and livestock have to be exterminated?

Brown bears disappeared from Ireland about 4,000 years ago; we don’t know why but it’s unlikely that our Bronze Age ancestors exterminated them. 

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We must protect red pandas

ACCORDING to Sandra Molloy of Dublin Zoo, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has changed the “threat status” of the red panda from vulnerable to endangered.

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Revolutionary petrels in Dublin

A sound sculpture staged at Dublin’s GPO Witness History Visitor Centre is entitled ‘Women of 1916 — Stormy Petrel/Guardeall’, writes Richard Collins

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The survival rate of lapwing chicks is alarmingly low

A farmer, walking his fields at this time of year, might come upon a clutch of four little eggs, their pointed ends arranged neatly together in a scrape on the ground, writes Richard Collins

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Long-distance Neolithic immigrant

How did red deer get to the Outer Hebrides and Orkney? Deer swim across rivers but they can’t tackle wide sea channels.

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Listen out for the bittern boom

‘A bhunnán bhuí, is é mo léan do luí, is do chnámha sínte tar éis do ghrinn.’

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Miniature doves found in the sun

ON JUNE 20, 1631, ‘Barbary’ pirates raided Baltimore, taking 107 men, women, and children into slavery. It was the largest such raid on an Irish or British settlement since Viking times, writes Richard Collins

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Blasket islander was spot on about long-finned pilot whale

SOME 350 pilot whales frequent the deep food-rich waters between Tenerife and La Gomera, writes Richard Collins.

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