Wing and a Prayer Raptor Appeal: click to donate

Click to donate to the BirdWatch Ireland ECO Appeal

Click to donate securely via

You can also donate by phone by calling us on 01-2819878


Irish Birds of Prey need your help!

Whether it is a Kestrel hovering motionless in the wind, or the ghostly form of a Barn Owl floating in effortless silence in the dead of night, birds of prey embody all that is wild and beautiful in nature. Unfortunately this beauty is under severe threat in the Irish countryside.

PLEASE HELP US so we can act now to prevent the needless loss of our iconic raptors. Healthy raptor populations are an essential component of a functioning, naturally balanced ecosystem. BirdWatch Ireland has implemented monitoring and conservation initiatives for the Barn Owl and Kestrel, with significant successes achieved. However we have limited knowledge of other raptor species such as Merlin and Long-eared Owl.

The most sinister and shameful threat to our raptors comes from poisoning and persecution, which has devastated raptor populations, even forcing several species into extinction in Ireland. BirdWatch Ireland was instrumental in integrating changes to the poisoning legislation in 2010, to afford greater protection to birds of prey. However, further action is imperative. Despite now being totally against the law, in 2011 BirdWatch Ireland recorded more poisoning incidents than ever before.

With Appeal funds we will:

• Expand our current monitoring and research programme.
• Help support volunteer raptor wardens in targeted field studies.
• Focus survey work to establish baseline information for the under-studied species.
• Provide safe and secure nesting sites for key species, with nest boxes, baskets and platforms.
• Ensure better protection of nesting sites of sensitive and endangered species
• Continue our research to determine the impacts of rat poisons on raptor populations.
• Undertake a programme of advocacy and education.
• Continue active lobbying to stamp out illegal poisoning and for better enforcement of the law.

We are appealing to you now for urgently needed funds:

€75 will pay for climbing and safety equipment, essential for nest inspections.
€100 will support a research fieldworker for a day to survey and locate new raptor nest sites
€150 will pay for the provision and monitoring of a specialised nest box or basket for Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl, Kestrel or Merlin.
€250 will pay for post-mortem and toxicology analysis to assess the impacts of rodenticides on raptors.
€500 will support a campaign of letter writing and advocacy to demand better enforcement of legislation.
€1,500 will pay for the production and distribution of advisory literature.

Help us to rid the countryside of illegal poisoning now - far too many Buzzards, Peregrines and Sparrowhawks faced excruciating deaths. This horrific and archaic practice should no longer be tolerated. Poisons also affect the Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl and Kestrel. Rodenticides, used to control rats and mice, accumulate in the food chain often with detrimental consequences for raptors which feed on rodents. Research is urgently required to assess the impact of secondary poisoning on the species most at risk, and to develop an effective strategy for tackling this issue.

Birds of prey are struggling to re-establish themselves in Ireland and need your help. Please donate what you can today to our Wing and a Prayer Raptor Appeal, to help us carry out vital conservation work for these iconic birds.

Click to donate to the Wing and a Prayer Raptor Appeal

Click to donate securely via

You can also donate by phone by calling us on 01-2819878

 Merlin perched
We only have limited knowledge of breeding Merlins. Help us to find out more, before its too late. (Shay Connolly)


Help us to research the cause of a widespread decline in Kestrel numbers. (Shay Connolly)


Buzzard poisioned by a tethered pigeon, left out as bait and laced with deadly poison. 


Find out more about Raptors in Ireland

Barn Owl photograph by Mick Boldger


© 2018 BirdWatch Ireland   Terms Of Use   Privacy Statement