What's On - Events & Movies

The Blue Tit

Parus caeruleus 
Meantán Gorm  

The Blue tits are back! Watch the adult feed five young nestlings in the nest box in Derek Mooney's back garden. (Tuesday 14.05.19) The interior of nest box is designed to look like a thatched cottage and the Tit family love it.

For more information about Blue tits - Click Here

The Fox

This recording of the fox was made at Derek's home on Tuesday 14.05.19. The fox is regular visitor to Derek's back garden and likes nothing better than lie out on the granite paving and soak up the sun. 

The Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes  

Madra Rua 

Urban Foxes - Are they Common?
Urban foxes are very common in Dublin. They are found throughout the city and suburbs. Foxes can be seen at night roaming Grafton St. and O'Connell St., with dens near Dáil Eireann. In the suburbs foxes do best in estates with large gardens. 

Areas like Sandymount have very high densities of foxes but they are also found in industrial estates and in some council housing areas. These days Dublin probably has a similar density of urban foxes to English cities like Bristol or London. 

I Thought I Saw a Puddy-Fox!
If you thought you saw a fox in your garden, then chances are you were right! In areas of Dublin where foxes are common most houses will be visited by a fox at some stage of the night. If they don't visit your back garden then they'll almost certainly trout through the front garden on their nightly explorations. If you see a fox in the garden… don't panic. Foxes are pretty harmless and they will run away if approached. However, as with all wild animals, never try to corner a fox as it may bite in panic. Often people are upset by the boldness of urban foxes. Some will not run away even when shouted at from a window, others can be seen strolling down public roads in broad daylight! This is because urban foxes have become habituated to the noise and smells of the city, if you approach them, however, they will run away. 

Should I Feed 'My' Foxes and With What?
The answer to this depends on your motives. If you think the fox looks skinny and needs fattening, don't bother. Foxes are slinky little animals by nature and they are more than able to feed themselves, especially in a food-rich environment like Dublin. If, however, you want to attract foxes so you can watch them, then by all means do. BUT always place the food in a spot you can see from your window, that is well away from the house. Feeding foxes near the house is asking for trouble. 

Foxes are inquisitive animals and an open door or window will be explored, it's not unheard of for foxes to take up residence inside houses or to become trapped in a basement or even an attic! Also never feed foxes by hand, someone will end up getting bitten and the foxes will pay the price. 

You can feed foxes any type of food. They will eat meat, vegetables, fruit etc., scraps will do just fine. Don't over-feed them, remember a lot of your neighbours are probably doing the same thing. 

I Have a Den in My Garden
A lot of urban fox dens are located in disused gardens or overgrown shrubberies. Foxes mate in January/February. At this time of year you may hear the vixen screaming in the night. Often these calls can be quite like a child and it's not unknown for the Gardai to be called out to investigate such screams! 

In March/April the vixen gives birth to, typically, four or five cubs in the den. The cubs are born blind and have a chocolate coloured coat, at this stage they look very un-foxlike. Around June they emerge from the den looking like mini-foxes, with a coat like the parents. During the summer they will spend a lot of time above ground, lying up in bushes and long grass. 

The cubs are playful and inquisitive, so expect flowerbeds to suffer a bit and toys, balls, shoes etc. to get chewed upon. From late September on the cubs begin to disperse to find their own territories and your garden will become peaceful once more. 

How Do I Get Rid of Them?
Some people love them and others (especially keen gardeners) just hate them. Foxes may do damage to lawns and flowerbeds as they root around for grubs and insects. Try to remember that the foxes are getting rid of pests such as beetles, slugs and grubs as well as rats and mice. Try to be patient. 

If you absolutely can't stand them then ask for professional advice rather than trying to solve the problem yourself. Never-ever try to poison your foxes with rat poison. This results in terrible suffering to the fox and you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law if found out. 

Killing foxes will not solve the problem and you risk a terrible fallout with neighbours who may be feeding them. For every fox you kill, there are ten more in the neighbourhood waiting to move in, so you'll only get a few weeks relief at most. This is why councils in England gave up fox control, it cost a fortune to kill the foxes and it made little or no impact on the population. 

One solution often offered by some welfare groups is to re-locate the foxes to the countryside. This may sound like a good idea, but it is cruel to the fox. A relocated fox will find itself in an alien environment, without a territory and will probably die as a result of the relocation. 

Urban foxes (and, incidentally, urban hedgehogs) belong in the City. If you wish to get foxes out of your garden then it's best done using repellents. For more information: The Urban Fox Project Tel: 087 2977931. 

Remember that even if you succeed in getting the foxes to move den, you will always have foxes passing through your garden. It is virtually impossible (bar electric fencing or a big fat Rottweiler) to keep foxes out of an entire garden. Noise and smell repellents will only work for a short time before the fox becomes used to it. You may be able to protect a small area of garden using smelly repellents, but even this may not work for long. 

A fox ate my cat/gerbil/rabbit/hamster etc...
Often I get reports of foxes killing cats. Most are found to be untrue on further investigation. Foxes may indeed kill kittens or very old or ill cats (it's worth mentioning here that cats may kill fox cubs too). However, in the vast majority of cat-fox interactions the cat wins. 

I've seen cats frightening foxes away from their meals through hissing and the odd well-placed scratch. Foxes may be found to be in possession of cat remains but these are most probably the scavenged remains of cats killed on the roads. 

Foxes will kill rabbits, rodents and birds. I have heard of pet owners complaining of losing gerbil after gerbil to the local fox. If you know the fox is in the area then more fool you for re-stocking its dinner plate! The only safe way to keep small pets outside, where you have foxes passing through, is to build a fox proof run. 

Ideally you should build a run that totally surrounds the hutch/living quarters and the feeding/exercise area. The run should be built from heavy chainlink fence or weldmesh (with chicken wire on the inside to keep the pets in). Chicken-wire alone will not keep a fox out. You should bury the chainlink to a depth of 12inches and roof the enclosure with the same chinking fencing. Otherwise keep the pets indoors. 

Do Foxes Carry Disease?
The simple answer is yes, but probably nothing worse than an average dog or cat. The main exception to this is mange. Urban foxes suffer greatly from mange and it spreads quickly from fox to fox. Fox-mange can infect dogs but not cats. In very exceptional cases it may infect humans, but in all my years working with mangy foxes, I've never caught it. 

Infected dogs can be successfully treated with injections and a medicated soap. Dublin vets are seeing an increased number of cases of dogs infected by fox-mange. Treating the foxes themselves is harder but it can be done successfully. A sympathetic vet is needed and the process involved baiting sausages or chicken with Ivomec and feeding this to the infected foxes. The success rate is quite high but it requires time and patience to ensure the medicine only gets to the infected foxes. 

Do Other Irish Cities Have Urban Foxes?
Yes, foxes have been reported from Belfast Cork and Shannon.

A Fox Bred With My Dog.
No chance mate! Foxes and dogs have different numbers of chromosomes and are incompatible for breeding. 

I found a fox cub... What Do I Do?
Unless it is in immanent danger (e.g. on the road) then leave it be, the mother will be near by waiting for you to go. If it is in danger then move it to a safe place near by and leave it, the mother will find it when she returns. If you find a cub and are sure it has been orphaned (e.g. if you find the dead vixen close by or the den is in the garden and you haven't seen the vixen for a long time) then call the Urban Fox Project or the DSPCA

Never be tempted to raise a fox yourself, they are a lot of work and the smell will decimate your circle of friends to just those with chronic nose blockages or who work in a piggery! 

Second Chance Sundays

Over the coming weeks, we'll be giving you another chance to hear some of our Mooney Goes Wild programmes uncovered from the radio archive here in RTÉ. Please tune into RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday nights at 6pm. Click the links below for more information. 

24th March 2019, (6pm), The Dance of the Cuckoos - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

31st March 2019, (6pm), The Blue Whale - Mooney Goes Wild Special

07th April 2019, (6pm), Feathers - Mooney Goes Wild Special

14th April 2019, (6pm), Bergen Whale - Mooney Goes Wild Special

21st April 2019, (6pm), Sparrows  - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

28th April 2019, (6pm), Wildlife Film Makers - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

05th May 2019, (6pm), The Common Swift - Mooney Goes Wild Special 

E-mail: mooney@rte.ie        Facebook: facebook.com/rtenature          Twitter: @NatureRTE

There are plenty more nature events taking place all around the country, organised by a variety of different groups.  If you have an event that you'd like to let our listeners know about, please get in contact - e-mail mooney@rte.ie!  And from March Of The Penguins to Finding Dory, many classic movies feature wildlife and animals; below are just some such movies on release or coming soon...

EVENTS

Friday, October 19th 2018: CARLOW

BirdWatch Ireland - The Birds of Bahrain and the National Ringing Scheme, by Dr Brendan Kavanagh. Tinryland Parish Hall, 8.00pm.

Saturday, October 20th 2018: DUBLIN - TOLKA

BirdWatch Ireland - Car outing to Wexford. Meet at Botanic Gardens at 8.00am or Farmer's Kitchen, Drinagh, at 10.15am.

Saturday, October 20th 2018: SLIGO

BirdWatch Ireland - I-WeBS count in Sligo Harbour. Meet in Cartron at 12.30pm.

Saturday, October 20th 2018: WICKLOW

BirdWatch Ireland - Trip to Dundalk to see wintering waterbirds. 

Sunday, October 21st 2018: SLIGO

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing to Inch, Co Donegal, to see wintering wildfowl. Meet in Cartron car park at 9.00am. If the weather is fine we may hike around the lake (about 8 km on easy terrain).

Monday, October 22nd 2018: TIPPERARY

BirdWatch Ireland - Feeding garden birds (speaker to be confirmed). Cabragh Wetlands, Thurles, 7.30pm.

Tuesday, October 23rd 2018: CORK

BirdWatch Ireland - Wildlife through a lens: a talk and slide-show by Charlie Lee. SMA Hall, Wilton, 8.00pm.

Tuesday, October 23rd 2018: KILKENNY

BirdWatch Ireland - Bird conservation in Ireland and Britain, by Mark Robins (Head of Conservation and Policy, BirdWatch Ireland). Heritage Council Offices, Church Lane, Kilkenny formerly the Bishop’s Palace) at 8.00pm. All welcome.

Tuesday, October 30th 2018: LAOIS

BirdWatch Ireland - Birding in New Zealand, by Dick Coombes (BirdWatch Ireland). Parish Centre, Portlaoise, 8.00pm.

Saturday, November 3rd 2018: GALWAY

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing at Nimmo’s Pier, Galway, with Tom Cuffe. Meet at base of pier, 10.30am. Would suit both beginners and more experienced birdwatchers.

Sunday, November 4th 2018: CARLOW

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing to Cahore Marsh, Co Wexford. Meet at Ballinoulart car park at south end at 10.00am.

Sunday, November 4th 2018: WEST CORK

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing to Rosscarbery Estuary. Meet at Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, at 10.30am for car-share to Owenahincha and walk back to Rosscarbery. Half-day with full-day option. Leader: David Rees.

Monday, November 5th 2018: LOUTH

BirdWatch Ireland - The Dublin Bay Birds Project, by Helen Boland (BirdWatch Ireland) – to be confirmed (check website later). The Spirit Store, Dundalk, 8.00pm.

Tuesday, November 6th 2018: DUBLIN - SOUTH

BirdWatch Ireland - The Secret Lives of Crows, by Ricky Whelan (BirdWatch Ireland). Graduate Bar, Rochestown Ave, 8.00pm.

Thursday, November 8th 2018: DUBLIN - FINGAL

BirdWatch Ireland - Talk by Ricky Whelan (BirdWatch Ireland). Blue Bar Lounge, Skerries Harbour, 8.00pm.

Thursday, November 8th 2018: KILDARE

BirdWatch Ireland - An update on the Pine Marten in Ireland, by Kate McAney (or Ruth Hanniffy) (Vincent Wildlife Trust). Townhouse Hotel, Naas, 8.00pm.

Thursday, November 8th 2018: WESTMEATH

BirdWatch Ireland - Corncrake Conservation, by Feargal Ó Cuinneagáin. Bloomfield Hotel, Mullingar, 8.00pm.

Saturday, November 10th 2018: DONEGAL

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing to Inch Levels. Meet at the Tready car park at 10.00am. (Directions: Coming from Letterkenny, turn left at Burt Church and continue for 2 km).

Saturday, November 10th 2018: DUBLIN - FINGAL

BirdWatch Ireland - Visit to Kilcoole and East Coast Nature Reserve, Co Wicklow. Meet in Kilcoole train station car park at 10.30am.

Saturday, November 10th 2018: KILDARE

BirdWatch Ireland - Annual bus trip to Carlingford Lough. Meet at B&Q car park, Naas, at 9.00am.

Sunday, November 11th 2018: DUBLIN - SOUTH

BirdWatch Ireland - Coach trip to Galway. Leaving Dún Laoghaire ferry terminal at 8.30am sharp.

Sunday, November 11th 2018: SLIGO

BirdWatch Ireland - The Sligo Branch will have a stall at the Science Fair at Sligo IT. Stop by for a chat and to learn about the branch's activities.

Tuesday, November 13th 2018: WICKLOW

BirdWatch Ireland - The birds and other wildlife of Cape Clear, by Steve Wing (Cape Clear Wildlife Officer). Glenview Hotel, 8.00pm.

Friday, November 16th 2018: CARLOW

BirdWatch Ireland - The breeding Merlins and Ravens of Connemara National Park, by Dermot Breen (NPWS Conservation Ranger). Tinryland Parish Hall, 8.00pm.

Friday, November 16th 2018: SLIGO

BirdWatch Ireland - Science Week lecture at Sligo IT. Speaker to be arranged and will be advertised through social media.

Saturday, November 17th 2018: KILKENNY

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing to Cabragh Wetlands, Thurles. Meet at outside Kilkenny Castle for car-pooling at 10.00am, or at the visitors’ centre in Cabragh at 11.15am. Bring rain gear and binoculars.

Sunday, November 18th 2018: SLIGO

BirdWatch Ireland - I-WeBS count at Drumcliffe Bay. Meet in Cartron at 9.30am.

Wednesday, November 21st 2018: DUBLIN - TOLKA

BirdWatch Ireland - The changing fortunes of Ireland's birds through the Bird Atlas years (1968 to 2011), by Brian Caffrey (BirdWatch Ireland). Botanic Gardens Auditorium, 7.45pm (car park open 7.30pm).

Thursday, November 22nd 2018: DUBLIN - FINGAL

BirdWatch Ireland - Conservation in action, by Richard Nairn. Blue Bar Lounge, Skerries Harbour, 8.00pm.

Saturday, November 24th 2018: CLARE

BirdWatch Ireland - Joint outing with the Limerick Branch to Curraghchase Forest Park.  Hoping to see Hawfinch, Jay, Buzzard, Red Squirrel, etc.  Meet in the car park about a kilometre inside the barrier at 9.30am. Leaders: Austin Cooney, Brian Finnegan.

Saturday, November 24th 2018: CORK

BirdWatch Ireland - Joint outing to Harper’s Island Wetland Centre, Glounthane, Cork, with the Tipperary Branch, starting at 2.00pm and continuing while light allows.

Saturday, November 24th 2018: DUBLIN - TOLKA

BirdWatch Ireland - Car outing to Dundalk Bay and the Co Louth coast. Meet at Botanic Gardens at 8.30am or Dundalk Harbour at 9.45am.

Saturday, November 24th 2018: LIMERICK

BirdWatch Ireland - Joint outing with Clare Branch to Currachase Forest Park to look for Jays, Hawfinches, squirrels, etc. Meet in car park at 9.30am. Leaders: Clodagh Glasgow, Tom Lynch.

Saturday, November 24th 2018: TIPPERARY

BirdWatch Ireland - Joint outing with Cork branch to Harper's Island Reserve, Glounthane, Cork, starting at 2.00pm and continuing while light allows. See branch website later for more details.

Saturday, November 24th 2018: WICKLOW

BirdWatch Ireland - Garden Bird Workshop at the ECNR. Meet at the main entrance on Sea Road at 10.00am.

Saturday, December 8th 2018: DONEGAL

BirdWatch Ireland - Outing to Carrickfin. Meet at the Blue Flag beach car park beyond  the airport buildings at 10.00am.

Sunday, December 16th 2018: SLIGO

BirdWatch Ireland - I-WeBS count, Sligo Harbour. Meet in Cartron at 8.45am.

MOVIES

Dog Days (PG; currently on release)

An ensemble comedy that follows the lives of multiple dog owners and their beloved fluffy pals around sunny Los Angeles.

Duck Duck Goose (PG; currently on release)

Peng rejects the community of his tight-knit flock of geese in an attempt to live life on his own terms. But after he narrowly rescues two young ducklings, he must learn to care for them despite his independent attitude...

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (12A, currently on release)

Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that's about to erupt.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales... (G, currently on release)

The countryside isn't always as calm and peaceful as it's made out to be, and the animals on this farm are particularly agitated: a fox who mothers a family of chicks, a rabbit who plays the stork, and a duck who wants to be Santa Claus!

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Presenter: Derek Mooney

Series Producer: Ana Leddy

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