News 2017

Title:  Peregrines nesting on crags in the Gap of Dunloe
Date:  10/05/2017

Peregrines nesting on crags in the Gap of Dunloe

Peregrine falcons are now nesting on some crags in the Gap of Dunloe, the Burren and other areas. Climbers should be mindful of this and avoid climbing at crags if there are any signs that birds are being disturbed, even if it means turning away and going elsewhere. Signs of disturbance would include birds reacting to your presence by screeching, circling or dive-bombing. Disturbance places stress on the birds and interrupts their ability to incubate their eggs, and also to hunt and supply their chicks adequately.

The peregrine, which is protected under European and national legislation, is the fastest creature on the planet, and can dive at speeds of up to 320km/h to strike its prey. When not attacking, the peregrine flies with a series of short wing beats and alternating glides, tilting to show its pale under-feathers and broad pointed wings.

Peregrines prey on smaller birds such as duck or pigeon, and because of this have at times been subject to persecution. National Parks & Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers, who have responsibility for wildlife protection in the Republic of Ireland, have acknowledged the valuable role that climbers can play in the conservation of this magnificent species by keeping an eye on known nest sites and reporting deliberate disturbance or suspicious activity.

The Irish Raptor Study Group is doing a national survey of breeding peregrines this year. If you come across breeding peregrines please email Further details of the survey are available on the Irish Raptor Study Group Facebook page and in the spring issue of the Irish Mountain Log.

Photo: Thomas McDonnell




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