Concern following figures revealing further decline in Corncrake numbers

By Sergey Yeliseev - Corn Crake, CC BY 2.0,

BirdWatch Ireland says it is concerned following recent figures issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service revealing a further decline in Corncrake numbers during the 2017 breeding season.

The population of these highly threatened birds is now down to 140 pairs from a peak of 230 in 2014.

Corncrakes arrive in Ireland in mid-April, having spent the winter in Africa and make their distinctive rasping call from the cover of long grass during May and June.

Jill Crosher of the West Kerry branch of BirdWatch Ireland said Corncrake, once abundant in Kerry, haven’t bred here in nearly 25 years.

The occasional call on passage is heard, the last one recorded two to three years ago.

However she said the Corncrake could come back to Kerry if we had the habitat was right.