independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Dazzled by the bright lights of Dingle

Manx Shearwater

A PROJECT aimed at helping Manx Shearwater which, during their migration from the Blasket Islands to the coast of South America, are often led astray by the bright lights of Dingle and other local villages, was launched this week by West Kerry bird-watch enthusiasts.

A PROJECT aimed at helping Manx Shearwater which, during their migration from the Blasket Islands to the coast of South America, are often led astray by the bright lights of Dingle and other local villages, was launched this week by West Kerry bird-watch enthusiasts.

The Manx Shearwater Rescue Project is aimed at assisting these pigeon-sized, web-footed, black and white seabirds which are often found stranded on the ground at this time of the year.

These cliff dwelling birds are unable to take off again from the ground and, without help, are in danger of being injured and perhaps killed by dogs, cats and other predators.

The West Kerry Branch of Birdwatch Ireland are this week appealing to the public to get in touch with if they happen across any of these birds.

"The birds, having started their long migration from their breeding sites on the Blasket Islands to their winter feeding grounds in South America, are sometimes led astray by the bright lights of our towns and villages," West Kerry birdlife expert Britta Wilkens explained.

"The West Kerry Branch of Birdwatch Ireland is asking members of the public to assist in their rescue."

The public are welcome to get in touch with those involved in the project or, if they feel capable, Britta advises that they pick the birds up and place them securely in a cardboard box.

"Do not give them any food or water and contact one of the volunteers who will collect the birds and release them safely back to the wild," she added.

"The project has been running very successfully and dozens of birds have been rescued and given a second chance to reach their destination.

"Birdwatch Ireland would like to thank all the many people who lent their assistance in the past," she added.

The project is being supervised by Senior Conservation Officer Dr Steve Newton of Birdwatch Ireland. The public are advised to contact local members Helen (Dingle) on 086-0618192, Britta (Ventry) on 087-2435845, Catherine (Ballymore) on 087-9834823 or Marcus on 085-2857814.

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