This little starling chick fell from a nest yesterday. The birds were nesting under our roof tiles and this is their second clutch. Unfortunately, we did not have ladder tall enough to get the chick back. The kids fed it a few worms, which it was more than happy to eat. We moved it under the sage bush for a bit of shade from the sun, but still just beneath the nest, in the hope that the parent birds would continue to fed it. This morning it had disappeared.
Meanwhile there may have been other casualties this week, as the council in it’s wisdom, decided to cut the hedgerow that runs along our road. Under the Irish Wildlife Act of 1976 (and Wildlife Amendment Act 2000), hedgerows are not supposed to be cut from the 1st March to the 31st August. However, councils can cite health and safety as a reason for cutting. When I rung the council, this is what I was told. They are resurfacing the road and it was a heath and safety issue for the workers. To be honest, I find this hard to fathom as the hedge was cut back in last winter.
As Ireland has a relatively little woodland, hedgerows are a very important habitat for all sorts of animals. Just as an example, they provide nesting habitats for over 55 bird species that are regularly recorded in Birdwatch Ireland’s Countryside Bird Survey. It is estimated that Ireland has around 300,000km of hedgerow. Irish hedgerows come in all shapes and sizes.