Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday May 6th 2018

This year's Dawn Chorus programme took place on Sunday, May 6th 2018, and was a roaring success!  All India Radio producer Monika Gulati sent us a pic of herself sporting our Dawn Chorus beanie!!

May Events

Well whilst our Dawn Chorus programme may have finished for another year, throughout May, events are still taking place around the country to celebrate the beautiful birdsong that our feathered friends provide.  For more information on these events, and on the annual Burren In Bloom festival that takes place from May 18th - 20th, visit our events listings page!  And if you have an event you'd like to let our listeners know about, e-mail

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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.

Documentary: The Blackbird

 The rich, melodic song of the Blackbird is without doubt one of the highlights of the Dawn Chorus.

Male blackbird; photo: Ken Kinsella / BirdWatch Ireland

Male blackbird; photo: Ken Kinsella / BirdWatch Ireland

The Blackbird is one of the first birds to begin singing each morning during late spring and early summer, just as the very first glimmer of dawn light appears in the sky.  It is a sound that has inspired poets and composers for centuries, its mellow, flute-like quality touching something deep in the human soul.

The male Blackbird is one of the easiest Irish birds to identify: his plumage is jet black, with his bright yellow beak and legs and the yellow ring around each eye readily distinguishing him from any species of crow and, indeed, from any other European bird.  The female is dark brown rather than black, with duller legs and bill, and if viewed closely some darker spotting and streaking is usually visible on her throat and breast, making her look like a very dark thrush - which is exactly what she is: the Blackbird is the most common member of the thrush family found in Ireland, and across Europe, for that matter.

Blackbirds are frequent visitors to Irish gardens, where they can be seen both hopping on lawns in search of worms and feeding on berries high in trees and bushes.  They are particularly fond of apples, which are a great way to attract them into your garden, and which can also be a real lifeline for them during periods of bad weather.

Blackbirds are also very popular birds.  It helps that it is one of Ireland’s most common species, a familiar sight and sound in parks and gardens, forests and farms the length and breadth of the country.  It is a bird that is readily encountered, no matter where in Ireland you happen to live.

In this new documentary, Derek Mooney and biologist Terry Flanagan celebrate the blackbird, and its place in the avian world...

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.

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



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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