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Breeding Birds – Bird Identification for Beginners

Online via Zoom

Dates available on request

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Breeding Birds

Target group(s)
Ecologists /Other

Beginner /improver

To aid this group in waterbird identification.

Trainer Bio
Marie Louise Heffernan CEnv, MCIEEM MSc has 30 years’ experience working with birds through her company Aster Environmental Consultants. She has carried out numerous surveys of both wintering and breeding birds. She has been part of bird research team at MAFF UK and carried out bird research for NPWS in Ireland.

Online, pre-recorded or in person
Online live on Zoom

Learning Objective
This course is suitable for beginners and improvers. Optical equipment, weather and optimal tide state for viewing will be addressed. Participants will learn the key features of breeding birds and how to use these for identification in the field. Differences in breeding habitat will be explored (cliff edges, lake islands, machair, bogs) and constraints in finding and surveying these birds. The issue of licencing for survey and use of lures will be addressed.

A selection of birds will be covered such as:

  1. Breeding Grebes, Swans and ducks)
  2. Breeding Waders (Curlew, Oystercatcher Ducks)
  3. Breeding Gulls and Terns
  4. Breeding Seabirds
  5. Breeding Annex I birds (Corncrake, Chough Peregrine, Merlin)

Participants will gain not only identification skills but an appreciation of bird ecology habitat use and food preferences. Birds groups covered will include divers, swans, geese and ducks, rails and waders.

Materials Provided
Slides as shown during course.

Min-max numbers required

2 half days, each 3 hours in duration

See above for upcoming dates. Times: 10am-1pm each day

Available on demand Y/N
Yes on request


15% discount for 2 or 3 booked together
25% discount for 4+ together
20% discount for Unemployed or Students. Please contact us for a coupon code prior to booking online.

Payment options
Payments can be made by credit card, PayPal, cheque or PO (purchase order). Options available on the checkout page. Send cheques or POs to Aster Environmental Consultants, Letterfrack, Co. Galway. Once payment has been received your registration will be confirmed.


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