List of birds of Ireland
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Ireland. The avifauna of Ireland included a total of 478 species as of late 2015 according to the Irish Rare Birds Committee (IRBC). An additional 21 species have been added and three replaced from Bird Checklists of the World.
Of these 499 species, 285 are rare or accidental and three have been introduced by humans. One has apparently been extirpated, one is extinct, and one is probably extinct. The list also includes four entries of birds that have been accepted without being identified to species. The list does not include species placed in "Category D" by the IBRC. These are species where there is doubt as to whether they have occurred in a wild state (Category D1), they have arrived by human assistance such as on board a ship (D2), they have only been recorded dead on the tideline (D3), or they are feral species whose populations may not be self-sustaining (D4).
Ireland has a relatively low diversity of breeding birds due to its isolation. Several species such as the tawny owl, Eurasian nuthatch and willow tit which breed in Great Britain have not been recorded. However, there are large colonies of seabirds including important populations of European storm-petrels, northern gannets, and roseate terns. Other notable breeding birds include corn crakes and red-billed choughs. There are no endemic species but there are endemic subspecies of white-throated dipper, coal tit, and Eurasian jay.
Large numbers of wildfowl and waders winter in Ireland, attracted by its mild climate. About half the world population of the Greenland race of greater white-fronted geese spend the winter there. During autumn, many migrating seabirds can be seen off the coasts including several species of skuas, shearwaters, and petrels. Ireland's westerly position means that North American birds are regularly recorded in autumn.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2019 edition.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence; the tags are from Bird Checklists of the World.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Ireland
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Ireland as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
- 1 Ducks, geese, and waterfowl
- 2 Pheasants, grouse, and allies
- 3 Grebes
- 4 Pigeons and doves
- 5 Sandgrouse
- 6 Bustards
- 7 Cuckoos
- 8 Nightjars
- 9 Swifts
- 10 Rails, crakes, gallinules, and coots
- 11 Cranes
- 12 Thick-knees
- 13 Stilts and avocets
- 14 Oystercatchers
- 15 Plovers and lapwings
- 16 Sandpipers and allies
- 17 Pratincoles and coursers
- 18 Skuas and jaegers
- 19 Auks, murres, and puffins
- 20 Gulls, terns, and skimmers
- 21 Tropicbirds
- 22 Loons
- 23 Albatrosses
- 24 Southern storm-petrels
- 25 Northern storm-petrels
- 26 Shearwaters and petrels
- 27 Storks
- 28 Frigatebirds
- 29 Boobies and gannets
- 30 Cormorants and shags
- 31 Bitterns, herons, and egrets
- 32 Ibises and spoonbills
- 33 Osprey
- 34 Hawks, kites, and eagles
- 35 Barn-owls
- 36 Typical owls
- 37 Hoopoes
- 38 Kingfishers
- 39 Bee-eaters
- 40 Rollers
- 41 Woodpeckers and allies
- 42 Falcons
- 43 Tyrant flycatchers
- 44 Vireos
- 45 Old World orioles
- 46 Shrikes
- 47 Crows, jays, ravens, and magpies
- 48 Tits
- 49 Larks
- 50 Bearded reedling
- 51 Cisticolas and allies
- 52 Reed warblers and allies
- 53 Grassbirds and allies
- 54 Swallows and martins
- 55 Leaf warblers
- 56 Bush warblers and allies
- 57 Long-tailed tits
- 58 Sylviid warblers
- 59 Kinglets
- 60 Treecreepers
- 61 Wrens
- 62 Dippers
- 63 Starlings
- 64 Mockingbirds and thrashers
- 65 Thrushes and allies
- 66 Old World flycatchers
- 67 Waxwings
- 68 Accentors
- 69 Old World sparrows
- 70 Wagtails and pipits
- 71 Finches
- 72 Longspurs and snow buntings
- 73 Old World buntings
- 74 New world sparrows
- 75 Troupials and allies
- 76 New World warblers
- 77 Cardinals and allies
- 78 References
- 79 See also
- 80 External links
Ducks, geese, and waterfowl
Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.
|Snow goose||Anser caerulescens||(A)|
|Graylag goose||Anser anser|
|Greater white-fronted goose||Anser albifrons|
|Lesser white-fronted goose||Anser erythropus||(A)|
|Taiga bean-goose||Anser fabalis||(A)|
|Tundra bean-goose||Anser serrirostris||(A)|
|Pink-footed goose||Anser brachyrhynchus|
|Barnacle goose||Branta leucopsis|
|Cackling goose||Branta hutchinsii||(A)|
|Canada goose||Branta canadensis||(A)|
|Red-breasted goose||Branta ruficollis||(A)|
|Mute swan||Cygnus olor|
|Tundra swan||Cygnus columbianus|
|Whooper swan||Cygnus cygnus|
|Ruddy shelduck||Tadorna ferruginea||(A)|
|Common shelduck||Tadorna tadorna|
|Mandarin duck||Aix galericulata||(I)|
|Baikal teal||Sibirionetta formosa||(A)|
|Blue-winged teal||Spatula discors||(A)|
|Northern shoveler||Spatula clypeata|
|Eurasian wigeon||Mareca penelope|
|American wigeon||Mareca americana||(A)|
|American black duck||Anas rubripes||(A)|
|Northern pintail||Anas acuta|
|Green-winged teal||Anas crecca|
|Red-crested pochard||Netta rufina||(A)|
|Common pochard||Aythya ferina|
|Ring-necked duck||Aythya collaris||(A)|
|Ferruginous duck||Aythya nyroca||(A)|
|Tufted duck||Aythya fuligula|
|Greater scaup||Aythya marila|
|Lesser scaup||Aythya affinis||(A)|
|King eider||Somateria spectabilis||(A)|
|Common eider||Somateria mollissima|
|Harlequin duck||Histrionicus histrionicus||(A)|
|Surf scoter||Melanitta perspicillata||(A)|
|Velvet scoter||Melanitta fusca|
|White-winged scoter||Melanitta deglandi|
|Common scoter||Melanitta nigra|
|Black scoter||Melanitta americana||(A)|
|Long-tailed duck||Clangula hyemalis|
|Common goldeneye||Bucephala clangula|
|Barrow's goldeneye||Bucephala islandica||(A)|
|Hooded merganser||Lophodytes cucullatus||(A)|
|Common merganser||Mergus merganser|
|Red-breasted merganser||Mergus serrator|
|Ruddy duck||Oxyura jamaicensis||(I)|
Pheasants, grouse, and allies
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls, and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.
|Common quail||Coturnix coturnix|
|Ring-necked pheasant||Phasianus colchicus||(I)|
|Gray partridge||Perdix perdix|
|Western capercaillie||Tetrao urogallus||(Extirpated; not seen since before 1950)|
|Willow ptarmigan||Lagopus lagopus|
Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land.
|Little grebe||Tachybaptus ruficollis|
|Pied-billed grebe||Podilymbus podiceps||(A)|
|Horned grebe||Podiceps auritus|
|Red-necked grebe||Podiceps grisegena|
|Great crested grebe||Podiceps cristatus|
|Eared grebe||Podiceps nigricollis||(A)|
Pigeons and doves
|Rock pigeon||Columba livia|
|Stock dove||Columba oenas|
|Common wood-pigeon||Columba palumbus|
|European turtle-dove||Streptopelia turtur|
|Eurasian collared-dove||Streptopelia decaocto|
|Mourning dove||Zenaida macroura||(A)|
Sandgrouse have small, pigeon-like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes.
|Pallas's sandgrouse||Syrrhaptes paradoxus||(A)|
Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays.
|Great bustard||Otis tarda||(A)|
|Little bustard||Tetrax tetrax||(A)|
|Great spotted cuckoo||Clamator glandarius||(A)|
|Yellow-billed cuckoo||Coccyzus americanus||(A)|
|Black-billed cuckoo||Coccyzus erythropthalmus||(A)|
|Common cuckoo||Cuculus canorus|
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs, and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.
|Common nighthawk||Chordeiles minor||(A)|
|Eurasian nightjar||Caprimulgus europaeus|
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang.
|Chimney swift||Chaetura pelagica||(A)|
|White-throated needletail||Hirundapus caudacutus||(A)|
|Alpine swift||Tachymarptis melba||(A)|
|Common swift||Apus apus|
|Pallid swift||Apus pallidus||(A)|
|Little swift||Apus affinis||(A)|
Rails, crakes, gallinules, and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.
|Water rail||Rallus aquaticus|
|Corn crake||Crex crex|
|Spotted crake||Porzana porzana||(A)|
|Eurasian moorhen||Gallinula chloropus|
|Eurasian coot||Fulica atra|
|American coot||Fulica americana||(A)|
|Purple gallinule||Porphyrio martinicus||(A)|
|Little crake||Zapornia parva||(A)|
|Baillon's crake||Zapornia pusilla||(A)|
Cranes are large, long-legged, and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances".
|Sandhill crane||Antiogne canadensis||(A)|
|Common crane||Grus grus||(A)|
The thick-knees are a group of waders found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes, and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.
|Eurasian thick-knee||Burhinus oedicnemus||(A)|
Stilts and avocets
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.
|Black-winged stilt||Himantopus himantopus|
|Pied avocet||Recurvirostra avosetta||(A)|
|Eurasian oystercatcher||Haematopus ostralegus|
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short thick necks, and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.
|Black-bellied plover||Pluvialis squatarola|
|European golden-plover||Pluvialis apricaria|
|American golden-plover||Pluvialis dominica||(A)|
|Pacific golden-plover||Pluvialis fulva||(A)|
|Northern lapwing||Vanellus vanellus|
|Sociable lapwing||Vanellus gregarius||(A)|
|Lesser sand-plover||Charadrius mongolus||(A)|
|Greater sand-plover||Charadrius leschenaultii||(A)|
|Kentish plover||Charadrius alexandrinus||(A)|
|Common ringed plover||Charadrius hiaticula|
|Semipalmated plover||Charadrius semipalmatus||(A)|
|Little ringed plover||Charadrius dubius||(A)|
|Eurasian dotterel||Charadrius morinellus||(A)|
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
|Upland sandpiper||Bartramia longicauda||(A)|
|Eskimo curlew||Numenius borealis||(A) (probably extinct)|
|Eurasian curlew||Numenius arquata|
|Bar-tailed godwit||Limosa lapponica|
|Black-tailed godwit||Limosa limosa|
|Hudsonian godwit||Limosa haemastica||(A)|
|Ruddy turnstone||Arenaria interpres|
|Great knot||Calidris tenuirostris||(A)|
|Red knot||Calidris canutus|
|Broad-billed sandpiper||Calidris falcinellus||(A)|
|Sharp-tailed sandpiper||Calidris acuminata||(A)|
|Stilt sandpiper||Calidris himantopus||(A)|
|Curlew sandpiper||Calidris ferruginea|
|Temminck's stint||Calidris temminckii||(A)|
|Long-toed stint||Calidris subminuta||(A)|
|Red-necked stint||Calidris ruficollis||(A)|
|Purple sandpiper||Calidris maritima|
|Baird's sandpiper||Calidris bairdii||(A)|
|Little stint||Calidris minuta|
|Least sandpiper||Calidris minutilla||(A)|
|White-rumped sandpiper||Calidris fuscicollis||(A)|
|Buff-breasted sandpiper||Calidris subruficollis||(A)|
|Pectoral sandpiper||Calidris melanotos|
|Semipalmated sandpiper||Calidris pusilla||(A)|
|Western sandpiper||Calidris mauri||(A)|
|Short-billed dowitcher||Limnodromus griseus||(A)|
|Long-billed dowitcher||Limnodromus scolopaceus||(A)|
|Jack snipe||Lymnocryptes minimus|
|Eurasian woodcock||Scolopax rusticola|
|Great snipe||Gallinago media||(A)|
|Common snipe||Gallinago gallinago|
|Wilson's snipe||Gallinago delicata||(A)|
|Terek sandpiper||Xenus cinereus||(A)|
|Wilson's phalarope||Phalaropus tricolor||(A)|
|Red-necked phalarope||Phalaropus lobatus||(A, formerly bred)|
|Red phalarope||Phalaropus fulicarius|
|Common sandpiper||Actitis hypoleucos|
|Spotted sandpiper||Actitis macularia||(A)|
|Green sandpiper||Tringa ochropus|
|Solitary sandpiper||Tringa solitaria||(A)|
|Spotted redshank||Tringa erythropus|
|Greater yellowlegs||Tringa melanoleuca||(A)|
|Common greenshank||Tringa nebularia|
|Lesser yellowlegs||Tringa flavipes||(A)|
|Marsh sandpiper||Tringa stagnatilis||(A)|
|Wood sandpiper||Tringa glareola|
|Common redshank||Tringa totanus|
Pratincoles and coursers
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings, and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings, and long, pointed bills which curve downwards.
|Cream-colored courser||Cursorius cursor||(A)|
|Collared pratincole||Glareola pratincola||(A)|
|Black-winged pratincole||Glareola nordmanni||(A)|
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.
|Great skua||Stercorarius skua|
|South polar skua||Stercorarius skua||(A)|
|Pomarine jaeger||Stercorarius pomarinus|
|Parasitic jaeger||Stercorarius parasiticus|
|Long-tailed jaeger||Stercorarius longicaudus||(A)|
Auks, murres, and puffins
Alcids are superficially similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture, and some of their habits. However, they are not related to the penguins and differ in being able to fly. Auks live on the open sea, only deliberately coming ashore to nest.
|Common murre||Uria aalge|
|Thick-billed murre||Uria lomvia||(A)|
|Great auk||Pinguinus impennis||(Extinct)|
|Black guillemot||Cepphus grylle|
|Atlantic puffin||Fratercula arctica|
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
|Black-legged kittiwake||Rissa tridactyla|
|Ivory gull||Pagophila eburnea||(A)|
|Sabine's gull||Xema sabini|
|Bonaparte's gull||Chroicocephalus philadelphia||(A)|
|Black-headed gull||Chroicocephalus ridibundus|
|Little gull||Hydrocoloeus minutus|
|Ross's gull||Rhodostethia rosea||(A)|
|Laughing gull||Leucophaeus atricilla||(A)|
|Franklin's gull||Leucophaeus pipixcan||(A)|
|Mediterranean gull||Ichthyaetus melanocephalus|
|Mew gull||Larus canus|
|Ring-billed gull||Larus delawarensis|
|Herring gull||Larus argentatus|
|Yellow-legged gull||Larus michahellis||(A)|
|Caspian gull||Larus cachinnans||(A)|
|Iceland gull||Larus glaucoides|
|Lesser black-backed gull||Larus fuscus|
|Slaty-backed gull||Larus schistisagus||(A)|
|Glaucous-winged gull||Larus glaucescens||(A)|
|Glaucous gull||Larus hyperboreus|
|Great black-backed gull||Larus marinus|
|Sooty tern||Onychoprion fuscatus||(A)|
|Little tern||Sternula albifrons|
|Gull-billed tern||Gelochelidon nilotica||(A)|
|Caspian tern||Hydroprogne caspia||(A)|
|Black tern||Chlidonias niger|
|White-winged tern||Chlidonias leucopterus||(A)|
|Whiskered tern||Chlidonias hybridus||(A)|
|Roseate tern||Sterna dougallii|
|Common tern||Sterna hirundo|
|Arctic tern||Sterna paradisaea|
|Forster's tern||Sterna forsteri||(A)|
|Royal tern||Thalasseus maximus||(A)|
|Sandwich tern||Thalasseus sandvicensis|
|Elegant tern||Thalasseus elegans||(A)|
|Lesser crested tern||Thalasseus bengalensis||(A)|
|Black skimmer||Rynchops niger||(A)|
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their long wings have black markings, as does the head.
|White-tailed tropicbird||Phaethon lepturus||(A)|
|Red-billed tropicbird||Phaethon aethereus||(A)|
Loons, also known as divers, are a group of aquatic birds found in many parts of North America and northern Europe. They are the size of a large duck or small goose, which they somewhat resemble in shape when swimming, but to which they are completely unrelated.
|Red-throated loon||Gavia stellata|
|Arctic loon||Gavia arctica||(A)|
|Pacific loon||Gavia pacifica||(A)|
|Common loon||Gavia immer|
|Yellow-billed loon||Gavia adamsii||(A)|
The albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses from the genus Diomedea have the largest wingspans of any extant birds.
|Black-browed albatross||Thalassarche melanophris||(A)|
The storm-petrels are the smallest seabirds, relatives of the petrels, feeding on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. Until 2018, this family's species were included with the other storm-petrels in family Hydrobatidae.
|Wilson's storm-petrel||Oceanites oceanicus||(A)|
Though the members of this family are similar in many respects to the southern storm-petrels, including their general appearance and habits, there are enough genetic differences to warrant their placement in a separate family.
|European storm-petrel||Hydrobates pelagicus|
|Leach's storm-petrel||Oceanodroma leucorhoa|
|Swinhoe's storm-petrel||Oceanodroma monorhis||(A)|
|Band-rumped storm-petrel||Oceanodroma castro||(A)|
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.
|Northern fulmar||Fulmarus glacialis|
|Zino's petrel||Pterodroma madeira||(A)|
|Fea's petrel||Pterodroma feae||(A)|
|Soft-plumaged petrel||Pterodroma mollis||(A)|
|Bermuda petrel||Pterodroma cahow||(A)|
|Bulwer's petrel||Bulweria bulwerii||(A)|
|Cory's shearwater||Calonectris borealis|
|Great shearwater||Ardenna gravis|
|Sooty shearwater||Ardenna griseus|
|Manx shearwater||Puffinus puffinus|
|Yelkouan shearwater||Puffinus yelkouan||(A)|
|Balearic shearwater||Puffinus mauretanicus|
|Barolo shearwater||Puffinus baroli||(A)|
|Tropical shearwater||Puffinus bailloni||(A)|
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory.
|Black stork||Ciconia nigra||(A)|
|White stork||Ciconia ciconia||(A)|
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white, or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.
|Frigatebird species||Fregata sp.||(A)|
Boobies and gannets
|Brown booby||Sula leucogaster||(A)|
|Northern gannet||Morus bassanus|
Cormorants and shags
Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful.
|Great cormorant||Phalacrocorax carbo|
|European shag||Phalacrocorax aristotelis|
|Double-crested cormorant||Phalacrocorax auritus||(A)|
Bitterns, herons, and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons, and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter-necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises, and spoonbills.
|American bittern||Botaurus lentiginosus||(A)|
|Great bittern||Botaurus stellaris||(A)|
|Little bittern||Ixobrychus minutus||(A)|
|Gray heron||Ardea cinerea|
|Purple heron||Ardea purpurea|
|Great egret||Ardea alba|
|Little egret||Egretta garzetta|
|Little blue heron||Egretta caerulea||(A)|
|Cattle egret||Bubulcus ibis||(A)|
|Squacco heron||Ardeola ralloides||(A)|
|Green heron||Butorides virescens||(A)|
|Black-crowned night-heron||Nycticorax nycticorax||(A)|
Ibises and spoonbills
Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.
|Glossy ibis||Plegadis falcinellus||(A)|
|Eurasian spoonbill||Platalea leucorodia||(A)|
The family Pandionidae contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
Hawks, kites, and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight.
|European honey-buzzard||Pernis apivorus||(A)|
|Eurasian griffon||Gyps fulvus||(A)|
|Greater spotted eagle||Clanga clanga||(A)|
|Golden eagle||Aquila chrysaetos||(A, being reintroduced)|
|Eurasian marsh-harrier||Circus aeruginosus|
|Hen harrier||Circus cyaneus|
|Northern harrier||Circus hudsonius||(A)|
|Pallid harrier||Circus macrourus||(A)|
|Montagu's harrier||Circus pygargus||(A)|
|Eurasian sparrowhawk||Accipiter nisus|
|Northern goshawk||Accipiter gentilis||(A)|
|Red kite||Milvus milvus|
|Black kite||Milvus migrans|
|Bald eagle||Haliaeetus leucocephalus||(A)|
|White-tailed eagle||Haliaeetus albicilla||(A, being reintroduced)|
|Rough-legged hawk||Buteo lagopus||(A)|
|Common buzzard||Buteo buteo|
Barn-owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.
|Barn owl||Tyto alba|
The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.
|Eurasian scops-owl||Otus scops||(A)|
|Snowy owl||Bubo scandiacus||(A)|
|Little owl||Athene noctua||(A)|
|Long-eared owl||Asio otus|
|Short-eared owl||Asio flammeus|
Hoopoes have black, white, and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head.
|Eurasian hoopoe||Upupa epops|
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails.
|Common kingfisher||Alcedo atthis|
|Belted kingfisher||Ceryle alcyon||(A)|
The bee-eaters are a family of near passerine birds found mostly in Africa, but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.
|European bee-eater||Merops apiaster||(A)|
Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not.
|European roller||Coracias garrulus||(A)|
Woodpeckers and allies
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails, and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.
|Eurasian wryneck||Jynx torquilla||(A)|
|Yellow-bellied sapsucker||Sphyrapicus varius||(A)|
|Great spotted woodpecker||Dendrocopos major||(A)|
|Eurasian green woodpecker||Picus viridis|
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.
|Lesser kestrel||Falco naumanni||(A)|
|Eurasian kestrel||Falco tinnunculus|
|Red-footed falcon||Falco vespertinus||(A)|
|Eurasian hobby||Falco subbuteo||(A)|
|Peregrine falcon||Falco peregrinus|
Tyrant flycatchers occur throughout North and South America. They superficially resemble the Old World flycatchers, but are more robust and have stronger bills. They do not have the sophisticated vocal capabilities of the songbirds. Most, but not all, are rather plain. As the name implies, most are insectivorous.
|Eastern kingbird||Tyrannus tyrannus||(A)|
|Philadelphia vireo||Vireo philadelphicus||(A)|
|Red-eyed vireo||Vireo olivaceus||(A)|
Old World orioles
The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles.
|Eurasian golden oriole||Oriolus oriolus||(A)|
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A shrike's beak is hooked, like that of a typical bird of prey.
|Red-backed shrike||Lanius collurio|
|Red-tailed shrike||Lanius phoenicuroides||(A)|
|Isabelline shrike||Lanius isabellinus||(A)|
|Brown shrike||Lanius cristatus||(A)|
|Great gray shrike||Lanius excubitor||(A)|
|Lesser gray shrike||Lanius minor||(A)|
|Woodchat shrike||Lanius senator||(A)|
Crows, jays, ravens, and magpies
The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jackdaws, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers, and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.
|Eurasian jay||Garrulus glandarius|
|Eurasian magpie||Pica pica|
|Red-billed chough||Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax|
|Eurasian jackdaw||Corvus monedula|
|Carrion crow||Corvus corone|
|Common raven||Corvus corax|
|Hooded crow||Corvus cornix|
The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects.
|Coal tit||Periparus ater|
|Marsh tit||Poecile palustris||(A)|
|Eurasian blue tit||Cyanistes caeruleus|
|Great tit||Parus major|
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds.
|Horned lark||Eremophila alpestris|
|Greater short-toed lark||Calandrella brachydactyla||(A)|
|Wood lark||Lullula arborea||(A)|
|Eurasian skylark||Alauda arvensis|
This species, the only one in its family, is found in reed beds throughout temperate Europe and Asia.
|Bearded reedling||Panurus biarmicus||(A)|
Cisticolas and allies
The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub.
|Zitting cisticola||Cisticola juncidis||(A)|
Reed warblers and allies
The members of this family are usually rather large for "warblers". Most are rather plain olivaceous brown above with much yellow to beige below. They are usually found in open woodland, reedbeds, or tall grass. The family occurs mostly in southern to western Eurasia and surroundings, but it also ranges far into the Pacific, with some species in Africa.
|Booted warbler||Iduna caligata||(A)|
|Sykes's warbler||Iduna rama||(A)|
|Eastern olivaceous warbler||Iduna pallida||(A)|
|Melodious warbler||Hippolais polyglotta||(A)|
|Icterine warbler||Hippolais icterina||(A)|
|Aquatic warbler||Acrocephalus paludicola||(A)|
|Sedge warbler||Acrocephalus schoenobaenus|
|Paddyfield warbler||Acrocephalus agricola||(A)|
|Blyth's reed warbler||Acrocephalus dumetorum||(A)|
|Marsh warbler||Acrocephalus palustris||(A)|
|Eurasian reed warbler||Acrocephalus scirpaceus|
|Great reed warbler||Acrocephalus arundinaceus||(A)|
Grassbirds and allies
Locustellidae are a family of small insectivorous songbirds found mainly in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian region. They are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed, and tend to be drab brownish or buffy all over.
|Pallas's grasshopper-warbler||Locustella certhiola||(A)|
|Savi's warbler||Locustella luscinioides||(A)|
|Common grasshopper-warbler||Locustella naevia|
Swallows and martins
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings, and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.
|Bank swallow||Riparia riparia|
|Barn swallow||Hirundo rustica|
|Red-rumped swallow||Cecropis daurica||(A)|
|Cliff swallow||Petrochelidon pyrrhonota||(A)|
|Common house-martin||Delichon urbicum|
Leaf warblers are a family of small insectivorous birds found mostly in Eurasia and ranging into Wallacea and Africa. The species are of various sizes, often green-plumaged above and yellow below, or more subdued with greyish-green to greyish-brown colors.
|Wood warbler||Phylloscopus sibilatrix|
|Western Bonelli's warbler||Phylloscopus bonelli||(A)|
|Eastern Bonelli's warbler||Phylloscopus orientalis||(A)|
|Pallas's leaf warbler||Phylloscopus proregulus||(A)|
|Yellow-browed warbler||Phylloscopus inornatus|
|Hume's warbler||Phylloscopus humei||(A)|
|Radde's warbler||Phylloscopus schwarzi||(A)|
|Dusky warbler||Phylloscopus fuscatus||(A)|
|Willow warbler||Phylloscopus trochilus|
|Common chiffchaff||Phylloscopus collybita|
|Iberian chiffchaff||Phylloscopus ibericus||(A)|
|Greenish warbler||Phylloscopus trochiloides||(A)|
|Arctic warbler||Phylloscopus borealis||(A)|
Bush warblers and allies
The members of this family are found throughout Africa, Asia, and Polynesia. This species is the only one found regularly in Europe.
|Cetti's warbler||Cettia cetti||(A)|
Long-tailed tits are a group of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They make woven bag nests in trees. Most eat a mixed diet which includes insects.
|Long-tailed tit||Aegithalos caudatus|
The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as another common name (Old World warblers) implies, in Europe, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs.
|Eurasian blackcap||Sylvia atricapilla|
|Garden warbler||Sylvia borin|
|Barred warbler||Sylvia nisoria||(A)|
|Lesser whitethroat||Sylvia curruca|
|Subalpine warbler||Sylvia cantillans||(A)|
|Sardinian warbler||Sylvia melanocephala||(A)|
|Greater whitethroat||Sylvia communis|
|Dartford warbler||Sylvia undata||(A)|
The kinglets, also called crests, are a small group of birds which were sometimes included in the Old World warblers, family Sylviidae.
|Ruby-crowned kinglet||Regulus calendula||(A)|
|Common firecrest||Regulus ignicapillus|
Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin pointed down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. They have stiff tail feathers, like woodpeckers, which they use to support themselves on vertical trees.
|Eurasian treecreeper||Certhia familiaris|
The wrens are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud songs. These birds have short wings and thin down-turned bills. Several species often hold their tails upright. All are insectivorous.
|Eurasian wren||Troglodytes troglodytes|
Dippers are a group of perching birds whose habitat includes aquatic environments in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. They are named for their bobbing or dipping movements.
|White-throated dipper||Cinclus cinclus|
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.
|European starling||Sturnus vulgaris|
|Rosy starling||Pastor roseus||(A)|
Mockingbirds and thrashers
The mimids are a family of passerine birds that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. These birds are notable for their vocalizations, especially their ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors. Their colouring tends towards dull-greys and browns.
|Gray catbird||Dumetella carolinensis||(A)|
Thrushes and allies
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.
|Siberian thrush||Geokichla sibirica||(A)|
|White's thrush||Zoothera dauma||(A)|
|Gray-cheeked thrush||Catharus minimus||(A)|
|Swainson's thrush||Catharus ustulatus||(A)|
|Hermit thrush||Catharus guttatus||(A)|
|Mistle thrush||Turdus viscivorus|
|Song thrush||Turdus philomelos|
|Eurasian blackbird||Turdus merula|
|American robin||Turdus migratorius||(A)|
|Ring ouzel||Turdus torquatus|
|Black-throated thrush||Turdus atrogularis||(A)|
|Dusky thrush||Turdus eunomus||(A)|
|Naumann's thrush||Turdus naumanni||(A)|
Old World flycatchers
Old World flycatchers are a large family of mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.
|Spotted flycatcher||Muscicapa striata|
|Rufous-tailed scrub-robin||Cercotrichas galactotes||(A)|
|European robin||Erithacus rubecula|
|Thrush nightingale||Luscinia luscinia||(A)|
|Common nightingale||Luscinia megarhynchos||(A)|
|Red-flanked bluetail||Tarsiger cyanurus||(A)|
|Taiga flycatcher||Ficedula albicilla||(A)|
|Red-breasted flycatcher||Ficedula parva||(A)|
|European pied flycatcher||Ficedula hypoleuca|
|Collared flycatcher||Ficedula albicollis||(A)|
|Common redstart||Phoenicurus phoenicurus|
|Black redstart||Phoenicurus ochruros|
|Rufous-tailed rock-thrush||Monticola saxatilis||(A)|
|European stonechat||Saxicola rubicola|
|Siberian stonechat||Saxicola maurus||(A)|
|Northern wheatear||Oenanthe oenanthe|
|Isabelline wheatear||Oenanthe isabellina||(A)|
|Desert wheatear||Oenanthe deserti||(A)|
|Pied wheatear||Oenanthe pleschanka||(A)|
|Black-eared wheatear||Oenanthe hispanica||(A)|
|Black wheatear||Oenanthe leucura||(A)|
The waxwings are a group of birds with soft silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. In the Bohemian and cedar waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax and give the group its name. These are arboreal birds of northern forests. They live on insects in summer and berries in winter.
|Bohemian waxwing||Bombycilla garrulus|
|Cedar waxwing||Bombycilla cedrorum||(A)|
|Siberian accentor||Prunella montanella||(A)|
Old World sparrows
Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects.
|House sparrow||Passer domesticus|
|Eurasian tree sparrow||Passer montanus|
Wagtails and pipits
Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country.
|Gray wagtail||Motacilla cinerea|
|Western yellow wagtail||Motacilla flava|
|Eastern yellow wagtail||Motacilla tschutschensis||(A)|
|Citrine wagtail||Motacilla citreola||(A)|
|White wagtail||Motacilla alba|
|Richard's pipit||Anthus richardi||(A)|
|Tawny pipit||Anthus campestris||(A)|
|Meadow pipit||Anthus pratensis|
|Tree pipit||Anthus trivialis|
|Olive-backed pipit||Anthus hodgsoni||(A)|
|Pechora pipit||Anthus gustavi||(A)|
|Red-throated pipit||Anthus cervinus||(A)|
|Water pipit||Anthus spinoletta||(A)|
|Rock pipit||Anthus petrosus|
|American pipit||Anthus rubescens||(A)|
Finches are seed-eating passerine birds that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have twelve tail feathers and nine primaries. These birds have a bouncing flight with alternating bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.
|Common chaffinch||Fringilla coelebs|
|Common rosefinch||Carpodacus erythrinus||(A)|
|Eurasian bullfinch||Pyrrhula pyrrhula|
|European greenfinch||Chloris chloris|
|Eurasian linnet||Linaria cannabina|
|Common redpoll||Acanthis flammea|
|Lesser redpoll||Acanthis cabaret|
|Hoary redpoll||Acanthis hornemanni||(A)|
|Parrot crossbill||Loxia pytyopsittacus||(A)|
|Red crossbill||Loxia curvirostra|
|White-winged crossbill||Loxia leucoptera||(A)|
|European goldfinch||Carduelis carduelis|
|European serin||Serinus serinus||(A)|
|Eurasian siskin||Spinus spinus|
Longspurs and snow buntings
The Calcariidae are a group of passerine birds that had been traditionally grouped with the New World sparrows, but differ in a number of respects and are usually found in open grassy areas.
|Lapland longspur||Calcarius lapponicus|
|Snow bunting||Plectrophenax nivalis|
Old World buntings
Emberizidae is a family of passerine birds containing a single genus. Until 2017, the New World sparrows (Passerellidae) were also considered part of this family.
|Black-headed bunting||Emberiza melanocephala||(A)|
|Corn bunting||Emberiza calandra||(A, formerly bred)|
|Cirl bunting||Emberiza cirlus||(A)|
|Pine bunting||Emberiza leucocephalos||(A)|
|Ortolan bunting||Emberiza hortulana||(A)|
|Reed bunting||Emberiza schoeniclus|
|Yellow-breasted bunting||Emberiza aureola||(A)|
|Little bunting||Emberiza pusilla||(A)|
|Rustic bunting||Emberiza rustica||(A)|
New world sparrows
Until 2017, these species were considered part of the family Emberizidae. Most of the species are known as sparrows, but these birds are not closely related to the Old World sparrows which are in the family Passeridae. Many of these have distinctive head patterns.
|Fox sparrow||Passerella iliaca||(A)|
|Dark-eyed junco||Junco hyemalis||(A)|
|White-crowned sparrow||Zonotrichia leucophrys||(A)|
|White-throated sparrow||Zonotrichia albicollis||(A)|
Troupials and allies
The icterids are a group of small to medium-sized, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World and include the grackles, New World blackbirds, and New World orioles. Most species have black as the predominant plumage colour, often enlivened by yellow, orange, or red.
|Baltimore oriole||Icterus galbula||(A)|
New World warblers
The New World warblers are a group of small, often colourful, passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal, but some are terrestrial. Most members of this family are insectivores.
|Northern waterthrush||Parkesia noveboracensis||(A)|
|Blue-winged warbler||Vermivora cyanoptera||(A)|
|Black-and-white warbler||Mniotilta varia||(A)|
|Common yellowthroat||Geothlypis trichas||(A)|
|American redstart||Setophaga ruticilla||(A)|
|Northern parula||Setophaga americana||(A)|
|Yellow warbler||Setophaga petechia||(A)|
|Blackpoll warbler||Setophaga striata||(A)|
|Yellow-rumped warbler||Setophaga coronata||(A)|
|Canada warbler||Cardellina canadensis||(A)|
|Wilson's warbler||Cardellina pusilla||(A)|
Cardinals and allies
The cardinals are a family of robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinct plumages.
|Scarlet tanager||Piranga olivacea||(A)|
|Rose-breasted grosbeak||Pheucticus ludovicianus||(A)|
|Indigo bunting||Passerina cyanea||(A)|
- "The Irish list as on 31st December 2015" (PDF). Irish Rare Birds Committee. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
- Lepage, Denis (23 June 2019). "Checklist of birds of Ireland". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/ Retrieved 15 August 2019
- Dempsey, Eric & Michael O'Clery (1995) Pocket Guide to the Common Birds of Ireland, Gill & Macmillan Ltd, Dublin.
- Dempsey, Eric & Michael O'Clery (2007) Finding Birds in Ireland: the complete guide, Gill & Macmillan Ltd, Dublin.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aves.|
- National Biodiversity Network  Distribution Maps (Ongoing)
- Oiseaux Ireland page. Many photos. Not all species.
- Irish Birding Latest sightings.
- Irish Rare Birds Committee
- NIBWA Northern Ireland Bird watchers Association.
- NIOC Northern Ireland Ornithologists Club. Excellent photographs
- Bird Guides Irish list, county lists, latest sightings and photos.