Monday 11 December 2017

Cold snap killing first swallows

Q Ireland's first swallows have arrived, but many are in danger of perishing because of the unseasonable cold snap.

Birdwatch Ireland has confirmed there has been a number of reports of the summer visitors arriving in southern counties, including Cork.

But Niall Hatch from Birdwatch Ireland says many of the early arrivals may die because of a lack of food.

"We have had a number of reports from as early as March 1," he said.

"The problem is that many of these birds may die because of the weather. They will be exhausted and need plenty of food. However, the problem is that they feed on flying insects and there is a considerable lack of these because of the cold weather. A lot of the early arrivals will perish," he said.

Swallows travel almost 9,500 km from South Africa at speeds of up to 65kmh. Only a third of the birds born in Ireland will survive the journey back to South Africa. They also return to the area where they were born in order to nest.

Irish Independent

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