Irish Wetland Bird Survey Training Resources

If you love waterbirds – wildfowl, waders, gulls etc. – but want to learn more about them or do more to conserve them you’re in the right place. The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) has been dedicated to monitoring our wintering waterbirds since 1994/95. A huge amount of ‘people power’ goes into this survey and it simply wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of volunteers, NPWS staff and BirdWatch Ireland staff who take part year in year out. With all this experience under our belts we wanted to make it more accessible for people to find out about how to undertake such a survey and share some of the tips and tricks gathered over the years.

Below you will find a couple of quizzes to test your waterbird ID skills as well as courses to guide you through the methodology of I-WeBS and how to go about identifying and counting waterbirds.

These resources have been brought to you as part of the workshop series, hosted online in 2021, which were kindly funded by the EPA event support scheme. 

I-WeBS Methods and More

Learn about the methodology employed to survey Ireland’s wintering waterbirds. This course will provide you with an introduction to the survey, advice on how to carry out a count and a brief summary on how the data is used.


Waterbird Identification

Do you want to improve your waterbird identification skills or simply wish you knew where to start? Waterbirds can be challenging but this course is packed with tips and tricks that will help guide you in the task of learning how to identify waterbirds.

Counting Waterbirds

The concept of counting waterbirds is daunting to most. In this course, the methods used to count are broken down so as to help you build up the (or improve) the skills needed to survey large numbers of birds.


Waterbird Picture Quiz

How many of the waterbirds can you identify? Have multiple goes for a slightly different selection each time.

Cryptic Quiz

This quiz, where waterbirds are shown just as silhouettes, is not for the faint of heart. How many birds could you ID based on their shape alone?

The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) is coordinated by BirdWatch Ireland and funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.