Mooney/ Mooney Goes Wild

    Monday-Friday, 3 - 4.30pm

    Mooney, Friday January 2nd 2015


    On Mooney Goes Wild today...

    Each year, from late October through to February, hundreds of thousands of Starlings come together to form magnificent aerial displays just before they roost. Why do they do it?  In this special programme, Starlings, Derek Mooney and Dr. Richard Collins investigate one of nature's greatest spectacles: Starling murmurations... 

    Some of those featured in this afternoon's documentary are:

    Niall Hatch, Tom O'Callaghan and Eugene Dunbar, BirdWatch Ireland

    Richard Collins, Niall Hatch, Tom O'Callaghan and Eugene Dunbar, on Lilliput Shore of Lough Ennell, Co. Westmeath, waiting for the Starling murmuration

    To read more about the Starling, click here.

    Ronald Surgenor

    Richard Collins & Ronald Surgenor, Weir Operative with the Department of Social Development, on the River Lagan in Belfast

     Dr. Richard Collins with Ronald Surgenor by the Sacha 

    Ronald Surgenor & Richard Collins

    Under Albert Bridge, on the River Lagan, in Belfast. The shelf-like structure is the perfect roosting site for thousands of noisy starlings

    Derek observes a starling murmuration in Belfast with Claire Barnett, Senior Conservation Officer (Species and Habitats) with the RSPB in Northern Ireland:

    Derek shows evidence of starling dropping on Albert Bridge Belfast

    Starlings gathering over the Albert Bridge in Belfast

    Prof. Chris Feare

    Prof. Chris Feare with Dr. Richard Collins

    - Owner of WildWings Bird Management, Guildford, England.
    - Research and consultancy in the management of wild birds for conservation and pest control
    - Head of bird department, Department of Environment and Rural Affairs, UK, May 1974 – March 1996 (21 years 11 months)
    University of Leeds, BSc PhD, Zoology, 1962 – 1969
    - Activities and Societies: British Ornithologists' Union (former Vice-President), British Trust for Ornithology, BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Seabird Group, Indian Ocean Seabird Group
    - Honors & Awards
    1994 Elected to International Ornithological Congress Committee
    1995 Appointed Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Leeds
    2008 Awarded British Ornithologists' Union medal

    Lloyd and Rose Buck

    Lloyd & Rose Buck

    Over the past 22 years, Lloyd and his wife Rose have been involved with many different film and television productions. They have a team of birds specially trained for filming on location and in studios but can also train new birds for specific projects.

    Richard Collins with a hand-reared Starling

    Lloyd and Rose are the world's experts at in-flight and tracking filming with birds. "We have our own family of birds that we work with exclusively for documentaries, film , drama, commercials and photography projects". For more information, visit

    Prof. Dr. Charlotte K. Hemelrijk

    Richard Collins & Dr. Charlotte Hemelrijk

    • Chair of the Dutch Society of Theoretical Biology (NVTB)
    • Board-member of the Groningen Center for Social Complexity Studies (GCSCS)
    • External board-member of the Ethologische Gesellschaft
    • Chair of the NWO-VICI committee for ALW
    • Member of the complexity call of NWO
    • Editor of PlosOne

    Research Field: Self-organization in social systems

    Charlotte and her team are interested in all aspects of self-organisation in social systems. In their models they try to produce complex phenomena by self-organisation as a side-effect of interactions of individuals with their environment. At present their focus is on social systems of primates, fish and birds.

    Daniel Pearce

    Dr. Richard Collins with Daniel Pearce

    Research Interests:
    During the course of his Ph.D, Daniel looked at collective behaviour in animals, primarily how birds are able to organise themselves into huge flocks so easily. He studied this by both simulation and observation on large starling flocks in the wild. For more, visit

    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.

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    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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