Ireland's Birds

Although a comparatively high number of bird species have been recorded in Ireland, with over 450 species currently on the Irish list, our island biogeography means we have considerably fewer breeding birds than our nearest neighbours. Many birds are migratory and many are rare or unusual in Ireland, despite the fact that they are common residents across the Irish Sea in Britain.

The fact that Ireland has been an isolated Island for over 8,000 years means that several species, widespread in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, that do not move great distances are absent examples include: Tawny Owl, Willow Tit, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch and most woodpecker species. In addition, Ireland’s mild weather means resident birds have an advantage over visitors in terms of early breeding and choice of best habitats. Ireland has fewer habitat types than Britain and continental Europe, with fewer deciduous woodlands, Scots pine forests, heaths and high mountain ranges.

Arctic Tern

Irish Name

Geabhróg artach

Scientific name

Sterna paradisaea

Bird Family

Terns

Balearic shearwater

Irish Name

Cánóg Bhailéarach

Scientific name

Puffinus mauretanicus

Bird Family

Tubenoses

Bar-tailed godwit

Irish Name

Guilbneach stríocearrach

Scientific name

Limosa lapponica

Bird Family

Sandpipers

Barn Owl

Irish Name

Scréachóg reilige

Scientific name

Tyto alba

Bird Family

Owls

Barnacle Goose

Irish Name

Gé ghiúrainn

Scientific name

Branta leucopsis

Bird Family

Geese

Bean Goose

Irish Name

Síolghé

Scientific name

Anser fabalis

Bird Family

Geese

Bewick's Swan

Irish Name

Eala Bewick

Scientific name

Cygnus columbianus

Bird Family

Swans

Black Brant

Irish Name

Cadhan

Scientific name

Branta bernicla nigricans

Bird Family

Geese

Black Guillemot

Irish Name

Foracha dhubh

Scientific name

Cepphus grylle

Bird Family

Auks

1 2 23 24

Become a member

Discover Ireland’s birds,  get involved with your local branch and avail of a range of membership benefits. Become a member of Ireland’s largest conservation organisation and help us to protect Ireland’s birds and biodiversity.

Become a member