Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday April 19th 2015

    On Mooney Goes Wild tonight...

    Ahead of the forthcoming Dawn Chorus on May 3rd, we want your bird recordings! Nicola Marples chats about Irish badgers, and why they are so different to English badgers, we learn all about Ireland's Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and Brendan Kavanagh tells us all about the birds of Bahrain!

    Derek's Blackbird & Call For Your Bird Recordings!

    Derek chats to our panel (Dr. Richard Collins, Eanna ni Lamhna, Prof. Nicola Marples and Prof. Brendan Kavanagh) about the blackbird that is visiting his garden. He has made a recording of his bird - and ahead of the Dawn Chorus on Sunday, May 3rd, we would like you to do the same! Please send your recordings of any birds that you can hear - at home, at work, or out and about - to Please mark your e-mail 'Bird Recording' in the subject line. Recordings can be sent in any format (mp3, wav etc...) but recordings should be no more than one minute in duration. Please note that by sending us your recording, you are agreeing that your recording may be used in the Dawn Chorus programme, and other RTÉ programmes. We cannot pay a fee but will credit those whose recordings we use.

    Tracking Badgers

    We may know where they live, but we don’t know where they’re going. That’s why badgers in Co Wicklow have been fitted with collars carrying the latest GPS tracking technology, so that their night time activities can be monitored.

    Zoologists at Trinity College Dublin are trying to find out how far badgers roam and how often they enter farmyards.  Badgers carry TB and can spread it to cattle, so the researchers are hoping to use the information to devise a more effective TB vaccination programme.  Dr. Nicola Marples is Associate Professor at the Department of Zoology at Trinity, and she’s closely involved with this project. She joins Derek and the panel in studio to explain more...

    Ireland's Great Spotted Woodpeckers

    One of the great success stories in the UK over the last 40 years or so is the increase in numbers of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Since then, it is estimated that their population has increased by about 400%.

    Great Spotted Woodpecker (male)

    However, during that time, only a very rare woodpecker has been seen in Ireland, and they were always spotted in winter and these birds were thought to have traveled south from Scandanavia to avoid the harsh weather there. And in all that time there were no records of woodpeckers breeding here.

    All of that changed in 2009, when the first breeding pair were found in Co. Wicklow and since then more pairs have bred successfully here.

    To find out more about the biology and breeding status of this newcomer, we sent Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan off with Niall Hatch, who is the Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, to investigate...

    The Birds Of Bahrain

    Prof. Brendan Kavanagh is Associate Professor of Human Biology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - but it was his travels to the Middle East that took him on a voyage of further discovery, opening his eyes to a whole new and fascinating world of bird species.  He's here this evening to bring us on that journey with him, which has resulted in an exquisite new book, entitled Birds of Dilmun: An Introduction To The Birds Of Bahrain.

    Birds of Dilmun: An Introduction To The Birds Of Bahrain is published by Miracle Publishing (it is a hardback book of 356 pages). For more information, click here or visit the Facebook page. Prof. Brendan Kavanagh has a limited number of copies of the book to sell directly - the cost is €40 plus P&P (approx €10). For further information, or to order a copy, Prof. Kavanagh can be e-mailed directly at

    Competition Time!

    We have two copies of Birds Of Dilmun to give away this week! Both copies are signed by author Brendan Kavanagh and photographer Juhani Kyyrö. Entry to the competition is by e-mail. To enter, just answer the following question:

    What does the Arabic word 'Bahrain' mean?

    E-mail your answer, along with your name and phone number, to Please mark your e-mail 'Bahrain Book Competition'. Close of entries is Saturday, April 25th at 23:59. Good luck!

    Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.

    To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.


    Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.

    If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit


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