It's National Dawn Chorus Day! From 00:00 until 06:00, we'll be bringing you live coverage of the dawn birdsong right across the country. Derek will anchor our broadcast from Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Cobh, alongside Dr. Richard Collins and Jim Wilson. Eric Dempsey will report on the birdsong from the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Terry Flanagan and Professor John O'Halloran will introduce the Dawn Chorus from Fota Island in Cork, reporter Katriona McFadden will be in Glenveigh National Park in Donegal, Eanna ni Lamhna will be in Rathfarnham in Dublin, and providing his expert analysis from the RTÉ Radio Studios in Donnybrook will be Niall Hatch, Development Officer with BirdWatch Ireland.
So stay with us for six hours of compelling wildlife documentaries, all the news from our Blue Tit nestbox, and the gorgeous sound of this ornithological opera. And don't forget, wherever you are - in Ireland or further afield - we would love to hear from you! Keep your e-mails and texts coming through the night - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or from midnight, you can text 51551. You can contact us by calling 1850 715 900. Or you could always tweet us - @MooneyShow!
Setting Up The Dawn Chorus Broadcast
Our sound engineers arrived around midday to liase with Jim Wilson on the best location for the mics for the Dawn Chorus...
Jim Wilson discusses where to set up microphones with RTÉ Radio sound engineers Mick McLoughlin (l) and Andrew Kane (r)
Jim Wilson positions mics for the Dawn Chorus broadcast 2014
Sound enginner Mick McLoughlin inside the RTÉ Outside Broadcast Unit at Cuskinny Marsh
The RTÉ Outside Broadcast Unit
Mooney Broadcast Co-Ordinator Sinéad Renshaw brings us listener reaction throughout the night from Studio 7 in the RTÉ Radio Centre
Dawn Chorus 2014 - Part 1
Derek Mooney presents live coverage of the 2014 Dawn Chorus from Cuskinny Marsh in Cobh...
Ahead of the National Dawn Chorus, which takes place in the early hours of Sunday, May 18th, Olan McGowan presents this easy audio guide to identifying the birdsong of fifteen Irish birds. To download the file, click on the 'Listen' button to the right, and in the box that pops up, click on 'Download'.
Today is National Dawn Chorus Day! 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 email@example.com, 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?
For more information on the various events that BirdWatch Ireland will be hosting as part of Dawn Chorus Day, click here.
If you enjoyed our documentaries The Whooper Swan - From Iceland To Ireland, and The Swallow - From Egg To Africa, then you can listen back to them and to the rest of our documentaries by clicking here!
Blue Tit / Parus caeruleus / Meantán gorm - our birds are back!
In the NestWatch camera box in Derek's back garden, a Blue Tit laid her first egg on Friday, April 25th, and went on to lay a total of eight eggs, all of which have now hatched! To watch the live stream, and to find out more about our growing Blue Tit family, click here.
Ornithologist Eric Dempsey, from the Birds Of Ireland News Service, has a recap of the story so far, and an insight as to what will happen next inside our nestbox... Click here to read Eric's Q&A on Blue Tits, click here to learn more about the eggs, and click here to read about different types of nests. For more information about Eric, visit www.birdsireland.com.
Birds have differing approaches to nesting. Most songbirds lay an egg each day, but don't start to incubate until the clutch is completed (Blue tit is a good example). Forming eggs is demanding. A bird has to obtain enough food to produce the eggs and, to do so effectively, she can't afford to spend her time incubating. Once the last egg has been laid, she sits. The eggs warm up and being to develop. All hatch at about the same time and so this approach is called 'synchronous' breeding.
Some birds adopt a different approach. An egg is laid and incubated immediately. A second egg follows a few days later, then a third and so on. Egg-laying tends to be slower because the mother can't gather sufficient food to form an egg every day, with the limited time available to her. The first egg hatches a few days ahead of the second, which is ahead of the third and so nesting is termed 'asynchronous'. Birds of prey generally adopt this approach.
Which of the two methods is superior? Neither. Both systems have survived and so both are effective. Which one is used depends on the nature of the food supply. If food for the baby birds is abundant, as with tits feeding on caterpillars, the synchronous system works well. If it becomes scarce, however, the family may be in trouble. All of the babies will be undernourished and may die.
In an asynchronous nest, the first chick to hatch is largest and gets the lion's share of the food. Only if it has enough to eat, will the next baby be fed and so on. In times of shortage, the youngest chick dies, its body being eaten by the older siblings. If things are very bad, the next youngest dies and so on. It's a cruel system but a ruthlessly efficient one. It means that nothing is wasted and, even in a lean year, the pair stands a chance of rearing at least some young.
Open cup nests are particularly vulnerable to predators and so it's important for the parents to get their youngsters on the wing as soon as possible. The eggs in open nest clutches all tend to hatch at the same time and the babies all leave the nests at the same time.
Nests in holes, such as those of Bluetits, are not so vulnerable to predators and so the parents are not in a hurry. Synchronising everything is not important. A mother Bluetit normally starts to incubate when the last egg has been laid but some mothers start before the clutch is completed. The last egg or two may be laid after incubation starts. This often happens in a late nest when there is a danger that the food resources for the babies may become exhausted. Whether there are late eggs or not, clutches in hole nests tend to hatch over a longer period than those in cup nests. The effect of all this is that there may be babies of differing sizes and ages in a clutch. The 'runts', the weak late chicks, tend to lose out in the scramble for food and may be weaker and less well able to cope when the brood comes to fledge.
Bluetit babies are coaxed out of the nest hole by the parents who call to them from outside and wave juicy caterpillars at them. The babies take the plunge one by one. Occasionally, the runts are too weak or timid to leave the nest. They prefer to stay at home and go back to sleep. Unfortunately for them, it is a sleep from which they never wake. The parents continue to feed the birds which are on the wing but they don't return to feed the runts.
Mooney Tunes 10
Mooney Tunes is back! Tickets for Mooney Tunes 10 went on sale on Monday, and just a limited number remain...
Can you believe it? It's time for Mooney Tunes again, and astonishingly, we are approaching our tenth concert! It all started in September 2009, at the National Concert Hall. The very first Mooney Tunes featured music such as Send In The Clowns, The Anvil Chorus and even the theme from Hawaii Five-O. Over the last nine concerts, there hasn't been any genre of music we haven't covered. We've done a lot of classical favourites, we've had arias and choruses from some of the greatest operas ever written.
Tickets to Mooney Tunes 10 range from €10 to €39.50, and can be booked in person at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin (no booking fee), or by calling Ticketmaster on 0818 719 377 (booking fee applies). For more information about Mooney Tunes 10, visit the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre website or the Ticketmaster website.
Mooney Tunes 10 will be a 'Best Of' the music and songs from previous Mooney Tunes concerts, and will include performances from the following:
LIST OF MUSIC PLAYED AT MOONEY TUNES CONCERTS
01. Begin The Beguine 02. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye 03. Lizst Rhapsody No. 2 04. Beat Out That Rhythm 05. O Mio Babino Caro 06. Pink Panther Theme 07. Chiqitta 08. Pure Imagination 09. Silent Night 10. Che Gilida Manina 11. Nessun Dorma 12. My Way 13. Under My Skin 14. When A Child Is Born 15. Sing Sing Sing 16. Let It Snow 17. Strauss 18. Also Sprach Zarathustra 19. Bridge Over Troubled Water 20. E il Sol Dell Amina from Rigoletto 21. Donizetti – Una Furtiva Lagrima 22. Superstar 23. Tchaikovsky-Polonaise Onegin 24. Roll Back The Clouds 25. She's Out Of My Life 26. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me 27. Bond Theme 28. Moonraker / Diamonds Are Forever 29. Minuet & Badiniere from Orchestral Suite No. 2 30. Edelweiss 31. My Heart Will Go On 32. Lonesome Boatman 33. O Holy Night 34. Mediation from Thais 35. That's Amore 36. In Paradisum 37. Gabriel's Oboe 38. The Way We Were 39. Last Christmas 40. Hark The Herald Angels Sing 41. As Long As He Needs Me 42. Soul Bossa Nova 43. Marriage Of Figaro: Duettino Sul Aria 44. One Day Like This 45. Jerusalem 46. Swan Lake: Introduction 47. Send In The Clowns 48. I Left My Heart In San Francisco 49. My Heart Will Go On 50. Les Mis: Bring Him Home 51. Carmen: Intermezzo 52. Ain't No Mountain High Enough 53. South Pacific - Some Enchanted Evening 54. Verdi - La Traviata - Siempre Libre 55. Have I Told You Lately 56. Time To Say Goodbye 57. True Friends 58. Hello Dolly 59. Daydream Believer 60. Requiem - Pie Jesu 61. Someone To Watch Over Me 62. The Sound Of Music: Climb Every Mountain 63. The Producers 64. Nessun Dorma 65. Star Of Bethlehem 66. Nowhere Man 67. Marino Waltz 68. The Christmas Song 69. Hope from 'Irish Destiny' 70. In Your Eyes 71. Why Me? 72. Rock 'n' Roll Kids 73. O Holy Night 74. Dances With Wolves 75. Wind Beneath My Wings 76. Old Man River 77. Fields of Athenry 78. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head 79. O Mio Babbino Caro 80. Suite from The Quiet Man 81. Over The Rainbow 82. Libertango 83. Adagio from Spartacus 84. The Bridge (An Droichead) 85. Theme from JFK/West Wing 86. Memory from Cats 87. Un Bel Di 88. Ave Maria 89. Elizabethan Serenade 90. Born Free 91. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (You're Just Too Good To Be True) 92. As Long As He Needs Me 93. Por Una Cabeza 94. Troika 95. When A Child Is Born 96. I'll Be Home For Christmas 97. Baby, It's Cold Outside 98. Trepak from The Nutcracker Suite 99. Once Upon A Time In The West 100. Vilia from The Merry Widow 101. Jingle Bells Forever 102. Va Pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) 103. Song Of Bernadette 104. Harry's Wonderous World 105. Lament 106. You Raise Me Up 107. Silent Night 1915 108. Do Re Me 109. Somewhere Over The Rainbow 110. O Holy Night 111. A Christmas Festival/ Sleigh Ride 112. Theme From Dragnet 113. Fiddler On The Roof 114. Nella Fantasia 115. Flower Duet 116. Champagne Polka 117. One Fine Day (from Madame Butterfly) 118. The Coolin 119. Hymn To Hope 120. Everybody Hurts 121. 80's TV Themes Medley 122. We Have All The Time In The World 123. 633 Squadron 124. Star Trek 125. Le Basque 126. Cavatina 127. We Shall Overcome 128. It's For You 129. When I Fall In Love 130. Hallelujah 131. Cinema Paradiso 132. Impossibly Beautiful 133. Danny Boy 134. You'll Never Walk Alone 135. Riverdance 136. Hawaii Five-O 137. William Tell Overture 138. A Summer Place / Music To Watch Girls By 139. Everybody’s Talking 140. Sunday Miscellany theme 141. Onedin Line / Spartacus 142. Gabriel’s Oboe – The Mission 143. Radetsky March 144. Anvil Chorus 145. Mise Eire 146. Classical Gas 147. If 148. Ravel’s Bolero 149. Barccarolle - O Sole Mio 150. Chariots Of Fire 151. Hallelujah Chorus 152. Cavalleria Rusticana
Return Of The Genealogy Roadshow!
The Genealogy Roadshow is back for a brand new series! RTÉ’s The Genealogy Roadshow is now an international hit series. PBS in America has already broadcast a US version of the show shot in Detroit, San Francisco, Nashville and Austin, Texas. Season 2 of the US show is on the way. The original Irish programme is returning to screens on May 11th with a brand new series full of amazing stories. Once again the people of Ireland are the stars of the show. The series is be presented again by Derek Mooney. It began last Sunday night on RTÉ One (click here to watch it back on the RTÉ Player), and the second episode of the three-part series will air on Sunday at 7pm on RTÉ One.
The Roadshow's crack historical and genealogical team help people trace their family’s roots and discover surprising stories from the past. People from all four provinces got to know the truth about tragic events, infamous ancestors and famous cousins.
Thousands of people contacted the show with questions. Some wanted to know if they were related to someone famous. Others wanted to solve mysteries going back generations. Others had heart-breaking adoption stories and tales of families ravaged by war.
The Genealogy team set out to help these people fill in the blanks. The mission was to answer the questions, solve the riddles and uncover the truth. Some people get the news they want but not every tale has a happy ending. In this series, there are tears of pride and joy, as well as fantastic surprises.
The Genealogy Roadshow also sheds light on the people history has forgotten. The team look at local and national events and ask who didn’t get the credit they deserve? They also take a look at people and events you think you know, but tell the stories you haven’t heard before.
This year the show has added technology to the bag of tricks. Historians and witnesses from around the world are able to beam in directly to the roadshow to give expert testimony and corroborate evidence.
Some of the stories involve Irish people in far flung places:
Irish immigrants starting a new life in Argentina were part of an international crisis as thousands were scammed out of their life savings and left stranded in a strange land;
An innocent Irish girl was gunned down in a Canadian frontier town, caught up in a local blood feud;
A Wexford man was spared a terrible fate at Custer’s Last Stand, only to be forgotten by history, until now;
A Longford woman went to America and became a notorious criminal in the era of Al Capone.
Some of the stories are closer to home:
After years of listening to his father’s stories, a Dundalk man finds out once and for all if he is related to St. Oliver Plunkett;
A Cork man discovers that his relatives were saved from the gallows by none other than Daniel O’Connell in a famous trial;
The tale of an Orangeman’s wife who kept her Catholic identity a secret, even from her family, for her whole life;
And there’s even some myth-busting in this series as the team delve into the mystery of 'The Lost Village of Audleystown' to see if there’s any evidence to back up the story of a village full of families who were forcibly migrated to the USA by a wicked land owner who levelled their homes.
This original Irish programme is back on your screens from this Sunday, May 11th at 7pm, on RTÉ One.
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.
UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:
Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed
BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted. It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.
Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made. This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.
The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:
(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).
The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.
BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal. In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie) to report such activity.
BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.
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 www.irishwildlifematters.ie