Mooney, Thursday March 20th 2014

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

On Mooney today...

On Mooney today...

Are you a fan of Eurovision? We tell you how you could win a Golden Ticket to our Eurovision Green Room Party at Dublin's Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on May 10th! Style and Fashion journalist Darren Kennedy talks about the latest trends on the high street, Brenda Donohue finds out about social jiving and we meet the middle aged couple who are embarking on a gap year...

Mooney's Money

We've €1,000 to give away today to save or spend as you please, take a break from your bills, or a make a break to the sun, it's up to you!

For your chance to win the cash, answer the following competition question:

Thursday, March 20th 2014

True or false: Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren are all famous fashion designers?

If you think you know the answer, call or text the competition line:

ROI: 1515 71 72 00

NI: 0901 293 3501

text MOONEY followed by your answer and name to 57111 (NI and ROI)

Each text entry costs €1 (incl VAT) or GBP £1.00. Calls from the eircom network will cost €1.02 (incl VAT) and from a BT landline will cost GBP £1.02. Calls from other networks and from mobiles will cost more.

Please note, the person named in the entry must be aged 18 years or older as at date of entry.

Competition lines open from 2pm and will close at 4.20pm today, (20/03/14). Please do not enter outside of the advertised competition window as you will be charged for your entry, but your entry will not be included. From time to time, these open/close times may vary. Any change to the standard open/close times will be announced here and on the show. The cash prize winner will be announced on-air towards the end of the Mooney show each day.

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Call Service Provider: Phonovation. Tel: 0818 217 100.

Text Service Provider: Oxygen8/Xiam Interactive. Tel: 0818 444 433

Please do not enter outside the advertised competition open and close times and date(s) as you will be charged, but your entry will not be included in the draw. Please do not enter during programme replays on the RTÉ Radio Player after the advertised close time and date as you will be charged for your entry, but your entry will not be included as the competition will have closed.

Entrants must be aged 18 years or older as at date of entry and a resident of the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland in order to qualify as the prize winner.

Promoter reserves the right to request proof of age, verifiable by birth cert or passport only, and proof of residency, verifiable by recent utility bill only (issued within 6 months of win).

1 x Mooney's Money prize winners will win a €1,000 cash prize. (All cash prizes issued to the winner by euro cheque, made payable to the winner, allow 28 working days for delivery).

By entering the competition, the participants agree to be bound by the terms and conditions; that their surname and county of residence may be announced on-air if they win a prize; and agree to have their details/image/winner sequence used for promotional purposes if required.

Employees of RTÉ, Phonovation, Xiam Interactive and their associated partners, companies or suppliers and their immediate family members are not eligible to win/enter.

RTÉ's decision in relation to selection of winner is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

RTÉ standard competition terms and conditions also apply.

Eurovision Green Room Party

Eurovision Green Room Party

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.

  • Tickets will be allocated to couples and groups of four people.
  • All attendees must make their own way to and from the venue.
  • There is no cash alternative to this prize.
  • Closing date for receipt of entries is April 25th 2014
  • Usual RTE terms and conditions apply.

D'Mammy Competition

March is the month for mothers. That's why we here on Mooney want to make this coming Mother's Day extra special for yours. Mooney, the Sunday World and americanholidays.com are giving you the chance to win a Royal Carribean International Cruise for your mammy and a friend!

Whilst onboard they'll enjoy dazzling West End style shows, relax in the spa, or take shore leave in the Bahamas. To be in with a chance to win, all you have to do is enter!

All you have to do to nominate your mammy for this fabulous prize is simply upload a picture of your mammy and tell us in a few short words why she’s the best! Click here to enter! The closing date is TODAY, Thursday, March 20th 2014 at 16:00.

The prize includes:

  • Return flights for two persons from Dublin to Orlando.
  • One pre-night three-star hotel stay in Orlando.
  • Seven-night Caribbean Cruise, sailing on Royal Caribbean International in a standard or oceanview stateroom (subject to availability).
  • All meals included (except speciality dining) evening entertainment, Casino Royale Movie Theatre access, use of the swimming pool and fitness centre.

For more information on how to enter the competition, click here.

 

Social Jiving

Garth Brooks seems to have us all jiving again, and not only at the cross roads! His comeback concerts have sparked a dance craze that is being taught in many parts of the country.

And our own home grown talents, like Derek Ryan, Nathan Carter and Mike Denver are not only topping the iTunes charts, but filling dance floors everywhere.

But you do need certain skills to dance properly to this type of music - and that’s where social jiving comes in. Our reporter Brenda Donohue went to one such class in the The Well in Moate, Co Westmeath last week, where her dance teacher was Niall Doorhy...

Brenda with Niall Doorhy

Brenda with Niall Doorhy

Brenda with Niall Doorhy

Brenda gets into the swing of things on the dancefloor!

For more information, visit Niall's YouTube channel, or follow @Socialdancing on Twitter. Or you can click below to watch the Bunny Hop video that Brenda chats about:  

Gap Year Adventure

How would you like to sail away with the love of your life for an adventure of a life time? Last week, we received an e-mail from a couple that had decided to do just that. They said:

"Hi Derek, My wife Nuala and I are off on what we call a Gap Year soon... My contract with my employer ended when I was 60 last year. I suddenly found myself facing early retirement or having to look for another job so I decided I would take a year off to see where I would go from here and what was I going to do with the rest of my life. Luckily my very supportive wife got 11 months leave of absence from her employer St Vincent de Paul. So we are off on an adventure to get from Paris to Berlin by boat."

Adrian and Nuala Gallagher join us in studio this afternoon to tell us all about their upcoming adventure! And if you would like to follow their travels, then visit their blog: www.adrianandnualasgapyear.com.

Fashion With Darren Kennedy

Fashion With Darren Kennedy

Darren Kennedy is the resident fashion expert on ITV’s This Morning, working alongside Eamon Holmes and Ruth Langsford. A former alumni of Mooney Goes Wild, Darren is included in the current RTÉ Guide's guide to the "Young, Gifted and Irish".

Hello Magazine tipped him as 'One to Watch for 2014' - and then gave him a job as a blogger! It’s been a crazy few months for the Fashion Journalist, Stylist and TV Presenter but we're delighted that he's back in with us today!

For more information about Darren, and to find out his style tips, best buys and competition, visit www.helpmystyle.ie.

Hedgerows

Statement from BirdWatch Ireland, Thurs Feb 28th 2019:

BirdWatch Ireland wishes to remind the public, local authorities and contractors that hedge-cutting is NOT permitted between 1st March and 31st August inclusive, except in the case of any of the derogations permitted under the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended. The Heritage Act 2018 gives the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the power to make certain changes to these dates, but it is important to note that, as yet, the Minister has not done so. As a result, the usual dates when hedge-cutting is prohibited currently remain unchanged.

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 read the Heritage Bill 2016, as passed by Dáil Éireann on July 5th 2018, click here.  To read the Heritage Act 2018, click here.

To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.

Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

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

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Presenter: Derek Mooney

Series Producer: Ana Leddy

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