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Other Birds of Prey

There are four other birds of prey which occur in the Duhallow region. They are Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. Some rarer species occur, such as Short-eared Owl and Buzzard.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
Irish name Cromán na gcearc

Habitat In summer breeds in or near young forestry plantations, hunting over upland moorland and rough grassland. In winter, more widespread, occurring in open areas, over reed beds and coastal marshes.
Status Scarce breeding bird. Slightly commoner in winter.

Female Hen Harrier (Photo: R.M. Small).

Map of Hen Harrier distribution in Ireland


Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Irish name Spioróg
Habitat Woodland edge, hedgerow.
Status Reasonably common throughout the year and throughout Ireland in a variety of habitats, including hedgerow, woodland edge, marshes and reed beds. 

Map of Sparrowhawk distribution in Ireland


Merlin Falco columbarius
Irish name Meirliún
Habitat Open country such as moorland, mountainsides, rough grassland and fields.
Status In summer, a rare breeder in moorland areas with scattered trees or forest edge. Nests in old crows nests on forest edges. In winter, more common and widespread and occurs also on coastal marshes.

Female Merlin (Photo: Shay Connolly).

Map of Merlin distribution in Ireland


Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Irish name Fabhcún gorm
Habitat Open country, mainly in coastal areas, mountains and cliffs, occasionally hunting over coastal areas and islands. Nests on cliffs, quarries, sometimes on tall buildings.
Status Regular throughout the year, mainly in coastal areas, scarcer inland.

Map of Peregrine distribution in Ireland


Buzzard Buteo buteo
Irish name Clamhán
Habitat Open country with trees, hedgerow and woodland. Nests in large nest in tall trees in woodland.
Status Increasing during the past decade. Now occurs in many areas outside the map below.

Map of Buzzard distribution in Ireland


Short-eared Owl Asio otus
Irish name Ulchabhán réisc
Habitat In summer occurs in open moorland and young conifer plantations. In winter more often on open coastal areas such as saltmarsh and dunes.
Status Very rare breeder in Ireland. Scarce winter visitor.
Short-eared Owl (Photo: Richard T. Mills).