Advertisement Picture

Birdwatch News Archive

Twite numbers have dropped alarmingly. Photo: Steve Young (
Twite numbers have dropped alarmingly. Photo: Steve Young ( image

Irish Twite danger

Posted on: 12 May 2010

Twite face imminent extinction in Ireland  according to BirdWatch Ireland. Conservation measures have been proposed to try and save the remaining breeding population.


The Twite is one of 18 birds on Bird Watch Ireland’s red list because of its rapid decline in population with between 50 and 100 breeding pairs. North Mayo and west Donegal in Ireland are the main breeding areas.


Dr Derek McLoughlin, an expert on the species, said that the Twite has disappeared from most of Ireland, and that special conservation areas need to be set up. Although the winter population grows to about 1,000 birds with the arrival of birds from Scotland, the Irish breeding birds are being hit by loss of habitat, with overgrazing and undergrazing posing real threats.


He proposed measures which include maintenance of traditionally-managed meadows, where late cutting, and sustainable management of upland habitat would help to ensure the survival of the bird.


Twite feed mainly on seeds from plants like dandelion, thistle, annual meadow grass, common sorrel, chickweed and sea plantain. They will normally nest in long heather and sometimes in bracken, invariably on the top of wild, north-facing sea cliffs. According to Dr McLoughlin, they nest close to Peregrine Falcons which provide protection from Ravens and Hooded Crows.

Your Comments

Tell us what you think...

You must be logged in to leave a comment. You can log in here.
If you don't have a user account please register.

Other News

Britain's raptor-killing crisis

Posted: 26 Nov 2015
Stronger action is needed to protect native birds of prey, says the RSPB, as their new bird crime report reveals that illegal killing continues unabated.

Read more…

Free 2016 calendar in the new issue of Birdwatch

Posted: 25 Nov 2015
Birdwatch's December issue goes on sale tomorrow, and includes a free 2016 calendar featuring the best photos from the Swarovski Optik Digiscoper of the Year competition.

Read more…

Popular Red-footed Falcon shot in Cambridgeshire

Posted: 24 Nov 2015
The RSPB has offered a £1,000 reward as part of their appeal for information on the shooting of a rare Red-footed Falcon, which many birders travelled to see this summer.

Read more…

Goldfinches on the up in gardens

Posted: 23 Nov 2015
The latest research from the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch shows that Goldfinch numbers are increasing in British gardens.

Read more…

Northern Bald Ibis has record breeding season

Posted: 22 Nov 2015
The Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibis has had its best breeding season ever in Morocco this year.

Read more…

  2 3 4 >

Back to News Listing