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For The Birds…

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This has been a really unusual week from a bird point of view first I like to start with this [part of a qoute] from Neighbours.ie. I had written something myself on birds in our gardens a few days ago but I had neglected to mention the wider bird populus

It is reported that up to 50 swans have died in the canal with there heads submerged in water near the Portobello Bridge. It is likely many small birds will share the same faith due to starvation.If enough people could make a contribution of throwing out a little bread making sure its on an elevated height away from preying cats as this would save alot of lives……

In what now seems like a funny twist of fate [thanks to Suzy Byrne] the Department of Environment have given some Irish birds a stay of execution. Funny to see Bird Watch Ireland being referenced via comment in this one…. Yes folks feed your birds…. and leave some birds alone – so we can shoot the ones we want…. fair and square of course…. 🙄

The temporary closure is to protect wild ducks, geese and waders, including the woodcock, until Friday the 15th of January. It does not affect shooting for pheasant, red-legged partridge or pigeons

It is a similar [ish] but unusual story that Suzy also reported with regards to the culling of the grey squirrel over at her weblog Mamanpoulet. [Hence my double edged title ‘for the birds’] And here’s where it gets really odd….

Prizes are being awarded to gun clubs who shoot most of the alien grey squirrel according to a report in Wednesday’s Irish Times.

The funny thing is not the culling of the greys…. [I said NOT ] but the fact that the forestry department are paying the bursary. So if this was a case of protecting trees then it is very much a case of discrimination. Dont mind the trees being damaged but as long as its not those greys….? On the other hand The Greens want to close down the hunt clubs….In summary…. its ok to kill an animal as long as you are not on a horse…. and if you’re not we’ll throw you a few bob.

Anyhow back to the birds…. I did [and do] put out the bird seed but it froze over and with that the water did too. That includes the water for my hens….  So if you did put out water in the a.m. you might wanna check it twice or so per day and once again see this post for more details on food for the birds.

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have you seen this guy…?

peter donegan landscaping squirrel

I was reading this article on squirrels – I’d seen them in Brackenstown recently and a good friend had some pics which he kindly passed my way.

So I rang Ger from Fota Wildlife Park for a quick chat. Nice guy. Nice place. [I should visit more.]

Reds and greys aside I simply asked Ger what can one do to encourage squirrels. He kindly explained that:

the grey ones are not bad although they’re having an easier time than the reds. But wildlife and squirrels need a diverse habitat. In our open spaces to encourage them [he suggests] If the leaves fall, don’t rake them all up totally or rake them into a corner and leave in a pile. If you must have a pristine garden try and leave even a section aside to grow a little wild. they’re also love oak trees and if someone has the space thats a really good thing to do to help them.

If you are about Cork, I recommend dropping in – it is so worthwhile. If you’re too busy you can always adopt an animal at Fota [click here] and you can assured the squirrels simply do normal squirrel things….