The help of the public is sought for a survey of the chough, the red-billed member of the crow family which is mostly found along the western and southern coasts from Donegal to Wexford.
There is some evidence that choughs are making use of manmade structures for nesting, such as bridges, and abandoned houses, and farm sheds, and the public may be able to supply sightings in such areas, to supplement the work of National Parks & Wildlife Service regional staff, together with professional surveyors and volunteers, carrying out the first full national chough survey in almost 20 years (without disturbing birds).
Many farmers are familiar with the chough, not least because they could earn €365 per hectare in certain areas for protecting the species, in the GLAS scheme.
Observations can be reported at bit.ly/ChoughSurvey21, by email to email@example.com or by calling 089 278 5603.
Along with its red bill (and matching red legs), the chough has shiny black plumage and a distinctive high pitched ‘cheouw’ call.
The last national survey of chough, in 2002-3, recorded 840 breeding pairs and a further 760 non-breeding birds around the coastline. Ireland has nearly 60% of the Northwest European population.