Issue 70, July 2015
Welcome to the July 2015 issue of eWings, BirdWatch Ireland's email newsletter.
Regular eWings readers will be aware of our Save Our Nature campaign against the proposed weakening of EU nature protection laws. We've been asking you to lend your support by signing our online petition: many of you have already done so, but many more have not. This is no ordinary petition: it's a formal submission to the European Commission that they must, by law, heed.

This is our last chance. The official public consultation ends this coming Friday, 24th July, the final date on which your voice will count on this issue. Please, visit our Save Our Nature campaign page and make your feelings known. It's very simple indeed: just enter your name, email address and country, click the button marked Take action now at the foot of the form. Then, very importantly, when the next screen appears, click the button marked Submit answers to complete your submission. Finally, please ask your friends and family to do the same. It will only take you a few seconds and will make a real difference.
To view the articles and news in full simply click on the link displayed at the bottom of each article summary.
Amazing new video showcasing European wildlife
Europe is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife; much more, indeed, than many people realise. Our colleagues in the RSPB, our BirdLife International Partner organisation in the UK, have produced a magnificent short video showcasing it, and it is well worth your time. While you watch it, remember that every second of this video was filmed within the European Union. Then, please do your part to save this incredible wildlife by signing our petition: this is the last time we'll ask you, we promise.
Watch the spectacular new RSPB video, called Defend Your Nature, by clicking here
Colour-ringed Little Terns - keep your eyes peeled!
For the second year running, Little Tern chicks at the colonies in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow and Baltray, Co. Louth have been fitted with uniquely-coded colour rings so that their migration routes and any exchange between breeding sites can be mapped. The rings used in this scheme are dark green with a white, three digit code beginning with the letter I. Birds from Kilcoole are fitted with the colour ring on their left leg while birds from Baltray are fitted with the colour ring on their right leg. Initial results have shown that fledged juvenile Little Terns fitted with colour rings at Kilcoole in 2014 visited sites in Britain (Merseyside, Devon and Hampshire), France (Brittany) and Portugal (near Lisbon) while on migration after leaving their natal colony. Any sightings of green-colour-ringed Little Terns should be reported to Dr. Stephen Newton. (Photo: adult Little Tern by Shay Connolly)
See more about our Little Tern colour-ringing efforts (including some very cute photos!)
Slán to the Swifts
Our much loved Swifts are about to embark on their incredible migration to Africa: join Dublin City Council and BirdWatch Ireland to say slán for another year. As part of the Dublin City Urban Birds Project, this event will take place from 4th to 7th August, at Dublin City Council Offices, Wood Quay. Drop by to view our Swift box displays, hear from Dublin City Biodiversity & Community Staff on their local projects, meet with Swift experts from BirdWatch Ireland, learn about our Swift conservation work and join us for a city Swift walk.

Also, please remember to send in your Swift sightings to our National Swift Survey 2015 or, in Dublin, to our Dublin City Swift Survey 2015. (Photo: Swift beside its nest, by Artur Tabor)
Learn more about what we have planned for Slán to the Swifts in Dublin from 4th-7th Aug.
Cuckoo: fascinating new book from the BirdWatch Ireland shop
Beloved as the herald of spring, Cuckoos have held a place in our affections for centuries. For many birds, however, the Cuckoo is a signal of doom, for it is Nature's most notorious cheat. Cuckoos across the world have evolved extraordinary tricks to manipulate other species into raising their young. How do they get away with it? In this enormously engaging book, naturalist and scientist Nick Davies reveals how Cuckoos trick their hosts. Cuckoo offers a new insight not only into the secret lives of these extraordinary birds, but also into how cheating evolves and thrives in the natural world.
Order Cuckoo today from the BirdWatch Ireland online shop for €25.70 plus P&P
"Seagulls" nesting in cities: help us find out where they are
There has been a lot of discussion in the media in recent days about the presence of "seagulls" (more correctly Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls) in urban areas, and especially nesting on city rooftops. They may at times seem aggressive, but the vast majority of these gulls are merely trying to protect their vulnerable chicks and have no interest in harming humans.

It's vital that we at BirdWatch Ireland have accurate information about the distribution of these urban gulls, so we are asking members of the public to sumbit reports of roof-nesting gulls via a simple online survey. (Photo: Herring Gull by Michael Finn).
Submit your records to BirdWatch Ireland's quick and easy Roof-nesting Gull Survey
Concerns about Food Wise 2025
BirdWatch Ireland has serious concerns about Food Wise 2025, the industry-led strategy for food production in Ireland, launched recently by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The ten-year strategy identifies ambitious targets for different production sectors such as dairy and beef as well as the processing sector. While much of the ambition is around increasing production in a sustainable manner, the strategy lacks substance in how the sector will avoid more environmental damage in the farming landscape.

BirdWatch Ireland has been advocating more support for farmers to support nature that is already in decline, but the level of ambition identified by the strategy will need producers, processors and Government departments to step up measures significantly to protect and restore nature, and address our carbon footprint.
Read more about BirdWatch Ireland's concerns over the Food Wise 2025 strategy for food production in Ireland
BirdWatch Ireland is running a Save Our Seabirds appeal to raise much-needed funds for the monitoring and protection of Ireland's seabird species. We've produced a special short video which explains more and which is well worth a look: simply click here to watch it on YouTube. Please, help us spread the word and share the video with your friends and family. Please also donate what you can via our secure online donation link.

We're also pleased to announce that it is now possible for you to make donations to our Save Our Seabirds appeal simply by sending an SMS from your mobile phone. Text BIRD to 50300 to donate €4. 100% of your donation goes to BirdWatch Ireland across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to BirdWatch Ireland. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 0766805278.

Yours sincerely,
Niall Hatch, Development Officer
BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D
Bullford Business Campus
Co. Wicklow
A63 RW83
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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