Irish bird becomes second-ever recorded to fly over 1000km to Germany

ireland
Irish Bird Becomes Second-Ever Recorded To Fly Over 1000Km To Germany
Brian Burke was contacted after a ringer in Germany retrapped the Siskin, which rarely travels to mainland Europe from Ireland.
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Louise Walsh

An ornithologist was left elated when he discovered that a Finch he ringed in Wicklow last June became only the second-ever such bird to travel 1,119km from the Republic of Ireland to Germany.

Brian Burke was contacted after a ringer in Germany retrapped the Siskin, which rarely travels to mainland Europe from Ireland.

The expert with Birdwatch Ireland said he caught and recorded about 30 Siskins last year at his new home in Kilpedder in Wicklow and many of them still remain in his garden.

He said: "I got word last week that a male Siskin that I caught and ringed under licence in my Wicklow garden last June was found by a ringer in Germany - 1,119km away between Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

"While there are many records of Siskin moving between Ireland and Britain, fewer than 50 Siskin from Ireland have ever been recorded in mainland Europe.

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"As far as we can tell, in the last seventy years since recording of birds started here, it's only the second Siskin from the Republic of Ireland found in Germany.

"The Siskin is a common species in Ireland and they are usually found in most gardens around February.  This year in particular has been a good year for them, with increased sightings being reported in gardens from as early as December.

"I've been talking to some of my colleagues, and we can only guess that nomadic instinct set in on overdrive and above and beyond what they normally experience to disperse from their habitat but how or why he got so far to Germany we are not sure.

"Some of the Siskins I caught are still in my garden, some are in the four corners of Ireland and a few made it to the UK."

He said it was nice to be contacted and told the Siskin was alive and well.  He added “I got two calls from the UK last year after Goldfinches had flown into windows and died.

“I would normally catch and record up to 1000 birds in the garden with a small metal ring around their legs, so we can learn more about the birds and their behaviours and status but this time, this Siskin has left us all a bit bewildered but delighted.”

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