Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1


    Sunday 31st January

    The Red Kite - Revisited

    On MGW tonight: another chance to listen back to Richard Collin's fascinating 2004 documentary about The Red Kite...

    Sunday 24th January

    The Rainforests Of Costa Rica - Revisited

    On MGW tonight: another chance to listen back to Eanna ni Lamhna's fascinating 2001 documentary about The Rainforests Of Costa Rica...

    Sunday 17th January

    The Jay - Revisited

    On MGW tonight: another chance to listen back to Terry Flanagan's 2004 documentary about Ireland's colourful crow: the Jay...

    Sunday 10th January

    The Whooper Swan: From Iceland To Ireland - Revisited

    On MGW tonight: another chance to listen back to Professor John O'Halloran's 2004 documentary about the Whooper Swan, and it's epic journey from Iceland to Ireland...

    Sunday 3rd January

    The Domino Sparrow - Revisited

    On MGW tonight: another chance to listen back to Richard Collins' 2006 documentary on the Domino Sparrow, who was shot after knocking over 23,000 dominos, stuffed, and now resides at the Museum of Natural History in Rotterdam...

    Sunday 27th December


    Each year, from October through to February, hundreds of thousands of Starlings come together to form magnificent aerial displays just before they roost. In this recorded edition of Mooney Goes Wild, Derek Mooney and his team experience one of nature's greatest spectacles: Starling murmurations.

    Saturday 26th December


    Each winter Ireland is home to hundreds of thousands of winter visitors. In this recorded edition of MOONEY GOES WILD we join the MOONEY GOES WILD crews in Dublin and Cork for this special programme on WADERS.

    Sunday 20th December

    Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

    Richard Collins, Eanna ni Lamhna and Niall Hatch give us their suggestions for last-minute Christmas gifts...

    The Robin - The Christmas Bird

    Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, joins Derek, Richard and Eanna in studio to tell us a bit more about the robin, its song and why it’s so closely associated with Christmas and this time of year...

    Unseasonal Temperatures?

    With temperatures reaching the mid teens in degrees celcius this month, nature is surprising us in all sorts of ways. Daffodils, which we tend to associate with Easter, are bobbing in fields, bumblebees are still buzzing around and there are all sorts of signs that Spring seems to have sprung four months early. Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens, explains why...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 20/12/15

    On MGW tonight: Unseasonal Temperatures; The Robin - The Christmas Bird; Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

    Friday 18th December

    The Robin - The Christmas Bird

    Join us in a celebration of everyone's favourite festive bird!

    Sunday 13th December

    Wildlife Christmas Presents

    Reporter Terry Flanagan visits the Science Gallery in Dublin to discover what gifts they have for the wildlife enthusiast!

    Birdlife Of Puerto Rico

    Niall Hatch from BirdWatch Ireland has just returned from Puerto Rico, and he joins us in studio to tell us all about the exotic and endangered birdlife that can be found there!

    Japanese Knotweed Project

    Student Anna Flynn describes how a previous MGW feature on Japanese Knotweed inspired a BT Young Scientist project by her and two classmates...

    Irish Professor Discovers New Coffee Tree

    Prof Daniel Kelly of Trinity tells us about discovering a new coffee tree whilst on expedition in Honduras...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 13/12/15

    On MGW tonight: Irish Professor Discovers New Coffee Tree; Japanese Knotweed Project; Birdlife Of Puerto Rico; Wildlife Christmas Presents

    Sunday 6th December

    Letters To Santa

    It's that time of year for all good boys and girls to sit down and write a letter to Santa! He'll read out as many as he can here on RTÉ Radio 1 on Christmas Eve, so please send your letter as soon as you can to or Mooney, RTÉ Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Happy Christmas!

    Why Do Locusts Swarm?

    Swarms of locusts can have a devastating effect upon crops and vegetation, but why exactly do they swarm? Dr. Kit Yates, from the Department for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath, joins us from the BBC studio in Bath to explain more...

    Dead Dutch Animals With A Story

    ***Please be aware that this podcast contains material that may not be suitable for children*** Richard Collins visits the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam to find out about their exhibit Dead Animals With A Story...

    Non-Hibernating Hedgehogs

    It seems that hedgehogs around the country are still active. But it’s now December! Should they not all be in hibernation for the winter? We sent reporter Terry Flanagan off to Allenwood, in Co. Kildare, to meet up with one of the locals, Tina Lee...

    Latest RAPTOR Report Published

    Ireland’s native birds of prey are part of our natural heritage – they’re key indicators of the health of our ecosystems, and are important assets in attracting tourists to come and stay in Ireland. The latest RAPTOR report, noting raptor deaths, has just been published and it’s author Dr. Barry O’Donoghue joins us from our Galway studio

    We Want Your Starling Murmurations!

    On Dec 13th, we’ll be recording a special programme all about starling murmurations – and we want your help! We want to put together a murmuration map, as it were, a record of all the starling murmurations that can be found all over Ireland. So if you’ve noticed a starling murmuration in your area, please do get in contact with us -!

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 06/12/15

    On MGW tonight: We Want Your Starling Murmurations!; Latest RAPTOR Report Published; Non-Hibernating Hedgehogs; Dead Dutch Animals With A Story; Why Do Locusts Swarm?; Letters To Santa

    Sunday 29th November

    Ireland’s Birds: Myths, Legends and Folklore

    From the children of Lir to the tradition of the wren boys, so much of our folklore and mythological history involves nature, and especially birds. Now many of these stories and superstitions about our birds have been researched and written about in a new book called Ireland’s Birds: Myths, Legends and Folklore. It’s by Neil Mac Coitir, and he joins us in studio to tell us more about it, as does Niall Hatch, from BirdWatch Ireland…

    An Entomologist's Entomophobia [Or Why We Fear Insects]

    It's not just the jungle celebs that hate insects! But where does this fear come from? Eanna chats to insect expert Prof. Jeff Lockwood, from the University of Wyoming; he's author of The Infested Mind, who himself developed a fear of grasshoppers, to learn more...

    Bees & Rhododendron Bushes

    Botanists from Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences have discovered that the nectar from the rhododendron is toxic to some Irish bees. Reporter Terry Flanagan met with Prof. Jane Stout from Trinity to find out more...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 29/11/15

    On MGW tonight: Bees & Rhododendron Bushes; An Entomologist's Entomophobia [Or Why We Fear Insects]; Ireland’s Birds: Myths, Legends and Folklore

    Sunday 22nd November

    Growing Older Without Feeling Old

    Has the first person who’ll live to be 1,000 already been born? Could we all live at least 135? One of the world’s leading experts on ageing is Professor Rudi Westendorp, of the University of Copenhagen, whose book 'Growing Older Without Feeling Old' has recently been published, and Rudi joins us from the BBC Western House studios in London…

    Winter Visitors To Mayo

    The Mullet peninsula in north west Mayo is a nationally important site for wintering waterfowl, especially for Whooper swans and Barnacle geese.  Recently, our reporter Terry Flanagan headed to the west to meet up with Dave Suddaby, Conservation Officer at BirdWatch Ireland, to see the first of these winter arrivals...

    GM Salmon Safe For Consumption

    For the first time in history, a genetically-modified organism has been deemed fit to eat.  The food in question is salmon - so we asked our resident marine biologist, Dr. Ken Whelan, to come in and explain how significant a step this is...

    We Want Your Starling Murmurations!

    On Dec 27th, we’ll bring you a really special programme all about starlings - and we want you to get involved! We want you to tell us about starling murmurations in your area - e-mail, and one of our reporters may travel to wherever you are to witness this spectacular sight!

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 22/11/15

    On MGW tonight: We Want Your Starling Murmurations!; GM Salmon Safe For Consumption; Winter Visitors To Mayo; Growing Older Without Feeling Old

    Sunday 15th November

    Global Warming

    Global temperatures are set to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels, but what will this mean for our flora & fauna? Terry Flanagan reports from the National Botanic Gardens, and we chat to Botanic Gardens' Director Matthew Jebb & zoology lecturer Dr Tom Reed from UCC...

    All Change For Orcas At SeaWorld?

    SeaWorld has announced changes to its' theatrical orca show in San Diego - but it is enough? We hear from PETA's Kirsty Henderson, and from Dr. Simon Berrow, founder member of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 15/11/15

    On MGW tonight: All Change For Orcas At SeaWorld?; Global Warming

    Sunday 8th November

    Crayfish In Cavan

    In Cavan, hundreds of ‘White-Clawed Crayfish’ have been wiped out recently and preliminary tests suggest that ‘Crayfish Plague’ could be the cause. Our reporter Terry Flanagan went to Co. Cavan where he met Dr Brian Nelson, who’s an Invertebrate Ecologist at the National Parks and Wildlife Service...

    Ireland Bucks Trend Of Plummeting Puffin Numbers

    For the very first time, puffins are at risk of being completely wiped out, with plummeting populations worldwide - but in Ireland, numbers are remaining steady. So could this country become a precious sanctuary for the endangered Atlantic puffin? Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, joins us in studio to explain more...

    University Of Oxford's Entrance Questions

    When it comes to biological sciences, Martin Speight (Associate Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford) devises key questions which decide the fate of thousands of hopeful candidates. He tells us more about the application process, and we find out if Richard and Eanna would make pass the Oxford interview!

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 08/11/15

    On MGW tonight: University Of Oxford's Entrance Questions, Ireland Bucks Trend Of Plummeting Puffin Numbers and Crayfish In Cavan

    Sunday 1st November

    Vampire Bird

    Have you ever heard of the vampire finch of the Galapagos islands? It occasionally feeds by drinking the blood of other birds, chiefly the blue-footed boobies, pecking at their skin with their sharp beaks until blood is drawn. Ornithologist Eric Dempsey joins us on the line to describe for us this most remarkable bird...

    Sea Sparkle In Kerry

    A sea that glows in the dark might sound like wild imaginings on a haunting Hallowe'en night, but in fact they're just some of the paranormal-like sightings within the natural world - one of which has recently been reported off the Kerry coast, and people have been flocking there in their droves just to catch a glimpse of it. Kevin Flannery, Director of Dingle's Oceanworld Aquarium, is in our Kerry studio to tell us more about it...

    Seeing Through The Eyes Of Animals

    if you could choose to be any creature on Earth, what would you be? Ever wondered what it would be like to live in their world, and see their surroundings as they do? Dr. Jolyon Troscianko from the University of Exeter has developed an application that converts images to show the way various animals might view their surroundings

    Bat Vision

    Prof Emma Teeling, Associate Professor at the School of Biology & Environment Science at UCD & Founding Director of the BatLab at UCD, joins us in studio to chat about a new bat family, and about their work researching how bats view the world...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 01/11/15

    On MGW tonight: Bat Vision; Seeing Through The Eyes Of Animals; Sea Sparkle In Kerry; Vampire Bird

    Sunday 25th October

    Purpose Of Crow Funerals

    It’s long been observed that crows gather around their dead - but why? Is this some kind of avian funeral ritual? Could it be to grieve a fallen friend or family member – or to learn more about how they died? PhD student Kaeli Swift, from the University of Washington in Seattle, has been researching crow funerals and joins us from the USA...

    Urban Beekeeping: Goatstown

    Kieran Harnett is a professional photographer, who’s taken to beekeeping with such enthusiasm that he could now make a living from it too! He has 30 beehives which he keeps in different locations around Dublin during the season, and we sent Eanna ni Lamhna to go and meet him at his home in Goatstown...

    Rwandan Gorilla Census

    In Africa, it is hoped that a new census of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Massif will help to safeguard both the critically endangered great ape, and its fragile habitat. The census is being led by a number of groups through the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, and the Director of the Programme, Anna Behm Masozera, joins us on the line now from Rwanda...

    Competition: Win A Copy Of 'The Natural History Book'!

    Fancy a copy of Dorling Kindersley's epic tome The Natural History Book? Sinéad Renshaw joins Derek to explain how you could win one of four copies of this truly stunning book...

    Mooney Goes Wild - Programme Podcast 25/10/15

    On MGW tonight: Competition: Win A Copy Of 'The Natural History Book'!; Rwandan Gorilla Census; Urban Beekeeping: Goatstown; Purpose Of Crow Funerals

    Sunday 18th October

    Irish Conker Championships

    Aileen Dooley from the Irish Conker Championships challenged Eanna to a conker match! Never a woman to shy away from a challenge, Eanna strapped on her cuff, strung up her nut and strode out into the leafy grounds of RTÉ to accept Aileen's challenge with eyes firmly set on the prize - of becoming Ireland's conker-ing queen! Marty Morrissey was on hand to provide the commentary...

    Your Questions, Our Answers

    Richard Collins answers queries about corncrakes. If you have a question that you would like one of our wildlife experts to answer, just e-mail, marking your mail 'Your Questions, Our Answers'...

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