Derek Mooney with his unique mix of conversation, information, advice and entertainment
We go around the country investigating listener stories about their local wild birds: raptors in County Kerry, thrushes in Louth, and chickens in County Cork. And it seems that butterflies are thriving again, as the Irish butterfly monitoring scheme records 66,000 butterflies across 33 species - a one third increase in just one year! Plus - is it a goat, is it a sheep? No, it's a geep! We find out about one Kildare farmer's unusual hybrid, and invite your names for it!
National Dawn Chorus Day will take part on Sunday, May 18th 2014. If you are part of a group who will be taking part in a Dawn Chorus event in your local area, and want to register your event with us, please send full details - name, contact number, what will be happening and where, to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line 'Dawn Chorus 2014'. And who knows, we may contact you during our Dawn Chorus broadcast!
Where will you be on National Dawn Chorus Day?
There is an interesting story doing the rounds about a strange hybrid born in County Kildare - a hybrid between a sheep and a goat. Apparently, people are wondering whether to call it a "geep" or a "shoat" - and if you have any other creative suggestions, by all means e-mail us - email@example.com!
The 'geep' (if we can call it that), was born two weeks ago to farmer Paddy Murphy of Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare.
Now, when we first heard this story, we thought this might be an April fool's joke. But apparently, it's not!
Most people out there might think it's impossible for two different species to mate! Isn't that part of the definition of a "species" as opposed to a "breed"? Different breeds of dog, in other words, can mate. But different species? Surely not?
Eanna ni Lamhna and Richard Collins have been investigating!
Paddy granted an interview to the Irish Farmer's Journal, which you can view by clicking here.
On Monday of this week, we received an e-mail from Reenascreena National School in Roscarberry in County Cork. The School Principal, Jean Dignan, wrote to us to tell us about their electric chicken! What’s an electric chicken? We wondered that too, so we sent Jim Wilson along to Roscarberry to find out...
The pupils of Reenascreena National School
The chickens at Reenascreena
The chickens at Reenascreena
For more information about the school, visit their website: school.reenascreena.com.
Yet another White-Tailed Sea Eagle was deliberately killed a couple of weeks ago. But there is some hope! Organisations like BirdWatch Ireland and their conservation partners are working tirelessly to improve the 'street cred' of raptors or 'birds of prey'.
The 'Raptor Conservation Project', run by BirdWatch Ireland, has been visiting primary schools in raptor-rich areas to educate the next generation about the importance of birds of prey.
John Lusby, Raptor Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, and Susan O'Donohue from The Heritage Council, are the duo who have been giving the talks. Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden caught up with them in Killahan National School in County Kerry, as John was handing out some wings...
It has been a good year for Irish butterflies - the Irish butterfly population increased by almost a third last year! How do we know this you might ask? Who is going around counting the butterflies of Ireland? One of those who is monitoring Irish butterfly numbers is Dr. Tomás Murray, an ecologist with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and project co-ordinator with the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, and he joins us in studio today!
For more information on the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, click here, or click here to download a free Android app for identifying and reporting Irish butterflies. And for more information on Irish butterflies, visit www.irishbutterflies.com.
Over the last few weeks, our inbox has been bulging with e-mails and pictures from all over the country, mainly of different species of birds. It's brilliant to see how passionate so many of our listeners are about Ireland's birdlife. And as always, Mooney Goes Wild is very happy to be a partner in developing those passions!
So over the last week, we decided to get some of our reporters out and about, around the country, visiting some of the people who have contacted the show by text, by e-mail, or by phone.
One such listener is Deanna McGuinness, from County Louth. She has a mistle thrush nesting on the window ledge of her spare bedroom.
Niall Hatch, Development Officer with from BirdWatch Ireland, is in the house in Louth at the moment, with Deanna to explain more...
And Derek talks to Mooney reporter Brenda Donohue and her young son Harvey about the two nests in her garden, which we believe belong to some blackbirds...
Join Mooney in our Eurovision Green Room at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Saturday, May 10th 2014. The party takes place in the Circle Club.
If you want to be there, all you have to do is tell us in not more than forty words why you and a friend or friends LOVE the Eurovision. All entrants/attendees must be over 18. If you are lucky enough to receive a golden invitation to our EUROVISION GREEN ROOM you will get to see all the action as it happens live from Copenhagen.
Hedgerows and the Law
Hedgerows in Ireland form important features in maintaining wildlife diversity and in establishing wildlife "corridors", particularly for birds. The commonest nesting birds found in hedgerows such as wrens, dunnocks, robin and willow warblers depend entirely on insects during the Summer months. In general untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing species such as blackthorn, whitethorn and holly are favoured by birds as they provide ample food and also serve as a protection against predators.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Act, provides protection for hedgerows by providing that it shall be an offence for a person 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. It is important that, where possible, necessary work to hedgerows is carried out outside this period.
It is possible in most cases to schedule and carry out necessary work to hedgerows outside this period. The legislation makes provision for works (other than road or other construction works) to be carried out for reasons of public health and safety under the authority of any Minister or a body established by statute that lead to the destruction of vegetation. There is also a provision to enable the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request from the relevant Minister or body details of any such works together with a statement of the public health and safety factors involved.
It shall not be an offence to destroy vegetation in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry. Also it shall not be illegal to destroy vegetation while preparing or clearing a site for lawful building or construction works.
It is the policy of the Minister to prosecute for offences under section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000 and successful prosecutions have been taken under this section in recent years. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local wildlife ranger and report instances where hedgerows are being destroyed during the prohibited period.
To follow us on Twitter, use the handle @MooneyShow.
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 www.irishwildlifematters.ie
Presenter: Derek Mooney