Issue 63, December 2014
Welcome to the December 2014 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
2014 is drawing to a close and Christmas is nearly upon us. Maybe you already have all of your Christmas shopping done and dusted, but if you are anything like me and have left all your gift-buying until the last minute yet again this year, don't fret: the BirdWatch Ireland online shop is here to rescue you. We have a great range of bird- and wildlife-themed gift ideas, including books, bird feeders, binoculars & telescopes, pottery, gift vouchers and a whole lot more. There is bound to be something there that's perfect for the nature-lover in your life.

If you place your order either online or by calling us on 01-2819878 up to noon on Friday 19th December we will be able to ensure delivery anywhere in Ireland in time for Christmas. Remember that by buying from BirdWatch Ireland you are helping to support our vital conservation work, which is a nice Christmas bonus both for you and for Ireland's wildlife

If you ask me, the best Christmas gift of all is BirdWatch Ireland membership. Members receive a welcome pack, four issues of our print magazine Wings throughout the year (plus our Bird Detectives kids' magazine for family and junior members) and a special free gift, as well access to hundreds of free events all over Ireland. You can take out a gift membership online, or if you prefer you can give us a call on 01-2819878.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Negativity towards Hen Harriers needs to stop
The Hen Harrier is once again at the centre of a media storm, with recent articles alleging significant negative sentiment towards it from certain farming sectors. Despite its portrayal as a threat to farming livelihoods, it is apparent that the interests and livelihoods of many such rural farming communities are actually much more compatible with Hen Harrier conservation than recent media reports indicate. BirdWatch Ireland and the Irish Raptor Study Group are calling for meaningful support for farmers in Hen Harrier areas, while also warning of the danger of lifting the ban on planting of forestry within the areas designated by law to protect this magnificent bird of prey. (Photo: Hen Harrier by Neil O'Reilly)
Learn more about our concerns over the media portrayal of Hen Harriers in Ireland
Camera Nestbox and Feeder System: the perfect Christmas gift
We are often asked to recommend unusual Christmas gifts for nature-lovers. One of the most original ideas we've come across in a long time is this special combination Camera Nestbox and Feeder System, which gives close-up views of the birds visiting your garden, no matter what the season.

We also stock a more traditional (and truly excellent) Camera Nestbox, but what makes this system unique is that if a pair of birds don't happen to nest in the box, or if it's outside the breeding season, you can simply slide out the drawer in the roof of the nest box, unclip the camera and pop it into the supplied Feeder Cam housing. Hang a bird feeder from this and you will have close-up footage of birds on your feeder, as well as a nest box that can still be used at a later date. A truly versatile system that can be used all year round!
Order your Camera Nestbox and Feeder System today from the BirdWatch Ireland shop
Don't worry, it's not too late to start the Garden Bird Survey
Our annual Garden Bird Survey is already under way, so if you haven't already, please start soon. It runs each winter from the start of December to the end of February, so if you begin now then you'll still be able to send us two and a half months of valuable data about the birds using your garden. It's a great way to learn more about your garden birds while at the same time contributing is a very real way to their conservation, and what's more, it's the perfect activity for restless children over the Christmas holidays. We even have a dedicated garden bird blog to help you get the most out of it. (Photo: Coal Tit by John Fox)
Learn more about the Garden Bird Survey and download your survey form today
Opticron Oregon Binoculars: the ideal choice, and great value at €135
Lightweight, easy to use and fully waterproof, the Oregon range of binoculars from Opticron are the ideal choice for beginning and experienced birdwatchers alike. They come in three different formats: 8x32 (8 times magnification with 32mm lenses), 8x42 (8 times magnification with 42mm lenses, for a brighter view) and 10x42 (10 times maginfication with 42mm lenses). They come complete with multi-coated lenses to reduce reflection, a strap, carrying case, cleaning cloth, rubber armouring and a 5 year guarantee.
Compare the different Oregon binocular models at BirdWatch Ireland's online shop
International Migratory Swan Census: our 'five-yearly' swan check-up
Every five years, BirdWatch Ireland, together with our partners in Britain, co-ordinates a comprehensive census of Whooper and Bewick's Swans across both islands: the next is scheduled for the weekend of 17th/18th January 2015. According to Helen Boland, the I-WeBS National Organiser, "January is going to be a very busy month in the I-WeBS Office, and for swan enthusiasts across Ireland. The results of this census will tell us how numbers and distributions have changed since the last census in 2010. It's vital that we examine swan flocks very carefully so that we take account of those few Bewick's Swans that do make the journey to our shores." (Photo: Whooper Swan by Eddie Dunne)
Find out more about Ireland's swans and the International Migratory Swan Census
Would you like to work with BirdWatch Ireland?
BirdWatch Ireland currently has two vacancies available, both with our Policy, Communications and Public Engagement Team.

The first vacancy is for the position of Policy Officer, a full-time salaried position, carrying out a range of policy and advocacy work focussed on birds, their habitats and wider biodiversity. This will be a one-year contract position.

The second vacancy is a Communications and Outreach Internship, a six-month, part-time (3.5 days per week, subject to negotiation) position which involves supporting our communications and outreach work, including media work, liaison with our branch network, collation of content for our outreach materials and publications as well as a range of support activities for development, membership and policy related activities. As this is an internship position, no salary is available.

Please note applications for either position must be recieved by 12 noon on Friday 9th January 2015. Interviews are likely to take place in mid-January with a view to a starting date in February.
Please click here for more information about these positions and to download the relevant application forms
All of us here at BirdWatch Ireland would like to thank you most sincerely for all of your support during 2014. The past year has been a challenging one for our organisation, as it has been for many other Irish charities, and we are extremely grateful to all of our members, supporters and eWings readers for helping us to protect Ireland's birds and other wildlife. We can't do it without you, and we hope that we can continue to count on your support in 2015.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year,
Niall Hatch, Development Officer
BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Co. Wicklow
Tel: (+353)-(0)1-2819878

BirdWatch Ireland is the trading name of the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, a company limited by guarantee and registered in Ireland, no. 116468. Registered Charity no. 5703.
Please note that BirdWatch Ireland will never pass your personal details on to anyone else.
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