Mooney Goes Wild Monday 28 May 2018



Twitter: @NatureRTE

Mooney Goes Wild - Documentary: The Blackbird

Mooney Goes Wild - Documentary: The Blackbird

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...


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.


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



Contact the Show



Twitter: @NatureRTE

RTÉ is not responsible for the content of external websites

Presenter: Derek Mooney


Ways to Listen

Radio Player