Mooney Goes Wild Monday 2 July 2018

Four Tips For Feeding Hungry Birds In Cold Weather

This is a tough time for birds.  Keen gardeners will know that their natural food source has been depleted, leaving our feathered friends struggling to find food.  They need all the help they can get. Learn more about feeding birds by clicking here for tips for feeding hungry birds in cold weather.



Twitter: @NatureRTE

Mooney Goes Wild

Mooney Goes Wild

Derek Mooney and guests explore the natural world in all its forms.

Ban on hosepipes but don't forget the bird baths

Ban on hosepipes but don't forget the bird baths

We Irish have a love hate relationship with the weather. We love it when the sun shines but we hate getting burnt and and having to do without watering the garden, washing the car and filling the paddle pool. Although small problems in the big scheme of things but spare a thought for our feathers Friends. Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland joined us to discuss how to help the birds in this dry spell.

The RSPB has advised the following to ensure we all can help birds in this weather:

With temperatures across the UK set to soar past 30°C this week, the RSPB is asking people to give birds a helping hand in the hot conditions by leaving out a supply of fresh water in their gardens or outdoor space.

Birds need water for two reasons; drinking and bathing. Unlike mammals, birds don’t have sweat glands, but they still lose a lot of water through respiration and in their droppings in the extreme heat. So it’s crucial they have access to fresh water to re-hydrate.  

In addition to drinking water, water to bathe in is just as important for birds. Bathing is essential to their daily routine, helping them to keep their feathers in good condition so they remain warm and waterproof. 

The sizzling conditions could leave the countryside depleted of its natural water sources, meaning birds will be left desperately searching for alternatives. By leaving out a supply of fresh, clean water, gardens can offer birds with the vital resource they need to survive the arduous conditions. 

Chris Calow, RSPB Wildlife Advisor, said: "While we sit back and relax in the outside with an ice-cold drink, generally revelling in an unusually sunny weather, our garden birds might not be having such a good time. The hot weather could be causing natural water sources to dry up, meaning our favourite garden birds like robins, blue tits and blackbirds could be left without anything to drink.

"Turning your outside space into a home for nature by doing simple things like topping up your birdbath, creating a make-shift pond from a washing-up bowl or putting down a saucer filled with water could offer a vital lifeline to some of our much-loved garden birds that are already fighting against declines."

Irish Water have also published this advice:

Irish Water has said hosepipe bans are likely to take effect in parts of Laois, Kilkenny and Limerick over the coming week, and the ban may extend to other counties. It came into effect in the Greater Dublin Area, as efforts to conserve water during the current hot spell continue. Below is a list of prohibited activities for the duration of the ban.

  • Watering a garden
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand-held containers filled directly from a tap)
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds) using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes)
  • Use of water for filling or replenishing an artificial pond (excluding fish ponds), lake or similar application

Jellyfish, Treating A Sting

Jellyfish, Treating A Sting

As families flock towards beaches and piers across the country, more and more people are aware of jellyfish. Eanna, Derek and Richard spoke to Dr Tom Doyle, Lecturer in Zoology in the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences at University College Cork about what to do if you get stung by a Jellyfish. First though, our own John Bela Reilly spoke to sea swimmers at Dublin's Forty Foot earlier today. 

HSE advise if you do get stung: 

  • Remove yourself from the water / vicinity of the jellyfish.
  • If helping someone else make sure you don’t get stung yourself.
  • Seek help and advice from lifeguards if you are on a lifeguarded beach.
  • Try to carefully remove any attached tentacles by flushing the sting area with sea water.
  • Removing tentacles with gloved hands, clean stick, tweezers, or scraping gently with the edge of a credit card. Don’t try to rub them off.
  • Mild symptoms of pain and swelling can be treated with simple painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  • Mild itching at the sting site may respond to anti-histamine creams.
  • Soaking the affected area in hot water or applying dry cold packs may reduce pain, depending on the type of jellyfish sting.
  • Keep any puncture wounds clean and dry to avoid them getting infected.
  • Seek medical attention if you develop any serious symptoms


Feeding Deer in The Phoenix Park

Feeding Deer in The Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park is full of wildlife, from inside Dublin Zoo to the birds nested throughout the park. On today's show we discuss the merits for and against feeding Deer in the Phoenix Park.

Terry Flanagan has been to the park with Laura Griffin, research MSc student at University College Dublin · School of Biology and Environmental Science, Terry spoke to people feeding Deer in the Park.







Rotterdam Oil Spill

Rotterdam Oil Spill

In the Netherlands, hundreds of mute swans have been caught in an oil spill after a tanker crashed into a jetty in the port of Rotterdam.

Rescue workers have been overwhelmed by the number of contaminated birds, as The Bow Jubail ruptured its hull, pouring 220 tonnes of oil into the harbour.

You can see more of the clean up operation in the Maeslantkering emergency hospital at the following link:

House Martins

House Martins

Eric Dempsey, author and bird expert joined the programme to discuss the House Martin birds, their nesting habits and why these small birds have been arriving later in the summer.


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



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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