• What is an LCM and why does this matter to nature in Northern Ireland?

    Last week, the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) Minister, Edwin Poots, asked members of the Assembly to endorse the provisions of the Westminster Environment Bill that apply to Northern Ireland. This proposed motion of endorsement is called a Legislative Consent Motion.

    Stormont. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
    Stormont. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    But what does this actually mean and why does it matter?

    While the last few months might have…
    • 7 Jul 2020
  • How restoring Northern Ireland's nature-rich habitats will help offset UK carbon emissions.

    RSPB NI Policy Officer Phil Carson looks at the value and power of nature in tackling Northern Ireland's climate and biodiversity crisis ...

    Dungonnell peat dams. Photo credit: Henry McLaughlin, Northern Ireland Water

    Not long ago our news feeds were filled with stories of devastating floods in England, extensive fires in the Amazon rainforest, deep peat fires in Siberia and unprecedented fires engulfing large swathes…

    • 15 Jun 2020
  • United for nature: new poll shows the people of Northern Ireland support calls for a Green Recovery

    On 27th May, RSPB NI, alongside 40 signatories from business, charity and academia, wrote an open letter urging the First Minister and deputy First Minister to put health and wellbeing, climate action and nature protection at the heart of decision-making. Now, a new opinion poll shows that the people of Northern Ireland back calls for a Green Recovery.

    Darkley Forest Park in Co. Armagh. Image credit: Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland
    Darkley Forest Park in Co. Armagh. Image credit: Outdoor Recreation…
    • 10 Jun 2020
  • Virtual Roonivoolin Ramble

    A guest blog by Ric Else.

    It’s not currently possible to visit Rathlin Island due to the travel restrictions that are in place during the Covid-19 outbreak. So for everyone who is missing Rathlin’s natural wonders, I’ve put together this virtual tour around Roonivoolin, one of the RSPB’s nature reserves on the island. I hope that it gives you a sense of the reserve’s beauty and tranquillity, and that it inspires you to…

    • 8 Jun 2020
  • Record Sunshine Leaves Belfast WOW High and Dry

    The outside spaces at Belfast’s Window on Wildlife reserve re-opened to the public at the end of May, but visitors to the hides that overlook the freshwater lagoon at WOW will have noticed that the usual oasis of calm water stretching out towards Belfast lough – looks a little different.

    With the Met Office reporting that all parts of the UK exceeded spring sunshine records, this coupled with the lack of…
    • 3 Jun 2020
  • Celebrating our volunteers - Volunteers' Week 2020

    Our volunteers help in many ways to save nature from monitoring birds on farmland to helping the visitors to our reserves discover the wonders of wildlife, the opportunities are as diverse as our volunteers themselves. We caught up with some of our amazing volunteers to get the low down on what they do, and why they love doing it …
       
    Volunteers’ Week takes place between 1 – 7 June each year, and whilst the coronavirus…
    • 29 May 2020
  • Race Against Time for Larne Lough's Roseate Terns

    With the anticipated, imminent arrival of roseate terns back to their Larne Lough breeding territory and Northern Ireland still under lockdown it was a race against time to ensure the right habitat was waiting for these site faithful breeders. In a guest blog RSPB NI Tern Conservation Officer Monika Wojcieszek explains how we did it ...

    RSPB staff members in boat travelling to Blue Circle Island.
    RSPB NI Tern Officer Monika travelling to Blue Circle Island with warden Chris Sturgeon…

    • 28 May 2020
  • Recover together: why we must invest in nature to secure our long-term recovery

    Is waking up to birdsong giving you boost in the morning? Or maybe you find a daily walk in nature just what you need to clear your head during difficult days?

    Goldfinch - John Bridges (rspb-images.com)
    Gold Finch. Photo credit: John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

    Nature is playing an important role in providing comfort and relief to everyone during lockdown, and this comes as no real surprise considering the well-documented research that examines how access to…
    • 27 May 2020
  • Open Letter to the First Minister and deputy First Minister calling for a green recovery

    Over recent weeks, the Northern Ireland Executive have started to implement plans for the country’s Roadmap to Recovery, outlining how to emerge from lockdown and re-start the economy. The decisions made by the Northern Ireland Executive now, will have lasting impacts on our natural environment.


    Belfast Lough RSPB NI reserve by Oliver Bernard
    Belfast Lough RSPB NI reserve. Photo credit: Oliver Bernard

    That’s why RSPB NI, alongside 40 signatories from environmental…
    • 26 May 2020
  • World Bee Day - Top tips for BEEginners

    On World Bee Day, RSPB NI staff members Claire and Cathryn tell us why they get a buzz from beekeeping and how you too can help these important pollinators.
    • 19 May 2020
  • Bills, Bills, Bills: How Covid-19 is affecting crucial laws to protect nature in Northern Ireland

    Public health and safety; recovering the economy; and lockdown exit strategies have rightly been occupying the government’s focus over the last few months. And for each of us, our focus has shifted too. We are learning to adapt to a new ‘normal’, adjusting work to care for family members, adopting new ways to communicate and trying to find balance for our own wellbeing.

    Bluebells and jay
    Bluebell meadow and a jay.…
    • 17 May 2020
  • Endangered Species Day 2020

    Guest blog by Anne-Marie McDevitt


    Today, on Endangered Species Day I want to share with you some of our endangered species in Northern Ireland - how RSPB NI works to help them, and what you can do to help.

    Birds as indicators of the health of our environment

    Although beautiful and fascinating in their own right, as birds occur in virtually every habitat across the world and are at the top of the food chain they’re…

    • 14 May 2020
  • How to tell a swallow from a swift (and a house martin)

    Heard a faint screeching overhead or caught sight of small black/brown birds with long tapered wings chattering on telephone wires or zipping across the skyline?

    The difference between a swift, swallow and house martin

    The arrival of swallows, swifts and house martins causes a wave of excitement in the birdwatching community and for many, heralds that summer is on its way. Now that we’re all spending more time at home, you may have started to notice them too.

    • 11 May 2020
  • Why it’s important to give hedgehogs a home

    It’s not only birds that RSPB NI is working hard to protect, we want to ensure that all wildlife in Northern Ireland has a home, including one of our ‘pricklier’ inhabitants:  hedgehogs.

    Seldom seen during the day, hedgehogs are one of only three species of mammals that hibernate in the UK, emerging in spring to breed and build up their body fat before lying dormant over winter again.

    In celebration…
    • 5 May 2020
  • Belfast's Window on Wildlife: Wildlife Haven in Belfast's Busy Harbour Documentary

    RSPB NI warden Chris Sturgeon features in a new BBC One NI documentary Belfast Harbour: Cruises, Cranes & Cargo about the daily comings and goings in Belfast Harbour. Belfast’s Window on Wildlife nature reserve - or Belfast WOW as it is affectionately known - is a home for more than 100 bird species that travel from all over the world to stay for the winter, nest in spring and raise their young and feast on what…

    • 28 Apr 2020
  • Going for gold(crest)! Why the dawn chorus is such a fantastic phenomenon in Fermanagh – and beyond

    Guest blog by Brad Robson, RSPB NI Site Manager


    The dawn chorus is a spring phenomenon created by the onset of the breeding season for many of our birds, including both our resident, year-round species including robins, wrens, blackbirds and blue tits, and the migrants that breed here but spend the northern winter in warmer climates - including chiffchaffs, blackcaps, spotted flycatchers and cuckoos.

    The chorus is the result…

    • 24 Apr 2020
  • RSPB NI: Celebrating a star species on World Curlew Day


    When Katie Gibb took on the role of RSPB NI Antrim Plateau Conservation Officer last year, the native New Zelander was looking forward to her first full year monitoring the progress of curlews in the Antrim Hills from this month onwards.

    However, following government advice in response to Covid-19, the RSPB has ceased all field work and so Katie will not be following the Co Antrim curlews’ progress this season.

    • 21 Apr 2020
  • RSPB NI wildlife enquiry FAQs: Is there a bird’s nest at your house or in your garden? Found a baby bird or injured bird? Got a question about hedge-cutting?

    By Susan Kula, RSPB NI

    The Covid-19 crisis has interrupted much of our infrastructure and our normal ways of life; but despite all the chaos unfolding in the human world due to this awful virus, it is still “business as usual” for birds.
    At RSPB NI, our phone lines are normally a flurry at this time of the year, with all manner of enquiries about bird breeding season. However, as a result of the current…

    • 15 Apr 2020
  • Big thanks to everyone who took action on the Environment Strategy for Northern Ireland

    Sometimes it’s hard to remember life before Covid-19 (coronavirus), even though it’s only been several weeks since all our lives changed unimaginably.

    Now, our work/life is unbalanced, lockdown has altered how we connect with friends and family, and with everyone’s energy rightly focused on staying safe and caring for the most vulnerable in our community, it can be hard to know how to ensure that nature is…

    • 12 Apr 2020
  • Big Garden Birdwatch: Sparrows still perched on top in Northern Ireland, but collared doves fly into the Top 10!

    Guest blog by Anne-Marie McDevitt, RSPB NI Head of Species


    The numbers are in and we can reveal the most-spotted birds across Northern Ireland, as recorded in the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend at the end of January, so thanks again to everyone who took part in this ever-important citizen science project!
    House sparrows continue to rule the roost in Northern Ireland, while sightings of goldfinches and robins were up - and…

    • 2 Apr 2020
  • RSPB NI: Covid-19 Update

    RSPB NI: Coronavirus Update with up to date information relating to reserves in Northern Ireland and coronavirus.
    • 19 Mar 2020
  • Taking our fight to protect and restore nature to the Northern Ireland Assembly

    RSPB NI and a coalition of environmental organisations gave evidence to the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) in Stormont
    • 15 Mar 2020
  • Northern Ireland needs to plant the right trees in the right places, along with restored peatlands and priority habitats

    Planting trees can be positive for the environment: how can we maximise the benefit for climate and nature with the pledge to plant18m trees in NI?
    • 12 Mar 2020
  • RSPB NI: Focus on the female of the (bird) species for International Women’s Day

    Guest blog by Roisin Kearney, RSPB NI Conservation Officer


    For International Women’s Day, we have decided to highlight some of the females of the bird world who buck the usual trends. Female birds don't typically get as much attention as their male counterparts because, in many bird species anyway, the female tends to have a much drabber colour scheme than the males and they do not tend to draw as much attention to themselves…

    • 6 Mar 2020
  • A host of RSPB NI events to put a spring in your step


    We’ve had Ciara, Dennis, Ellen and friends ‘storming’ our shores in the past month or so, but surely the start of March heralds the start of spring and the end of the stormy winter?!

    Granted, the spring equinox doesn’t take place until Friday 20 March – and the old saying has it that March comes ‘in like a lion and goes out like a lamb’ – but we think we can start planning more outdoorsy days. And if…

    • 21 Feb 2020