Secret Life of Hedges

Interaction between different bird species and hedgerows in farming landscapes.

Ireland is an important staging post and destination for migratory birds.  It holds significant populations of birds rare elsewhere in Europe, as well as internationally important wetland bird communities.

Birds are an intricate component of ecosystems. Ecosystems such as forests and the marine environment provide us with food, medicines and important raw materials which we need for our own survival. They keep the climate stable, oxygenate air and transform pollutants into nutrients. Birds play an important role in the effective functioning of these systems. When they start disappearing, it means that something is wrong with our environment and that we need to take action.

Why are Hedges important for Birds?

Hedgerows are the most important habitats for birds in the agricultural landscape, providing food, shelter, and nesting places. “Some birds like House Sparrows use hedges as conduits to get from point A to B. They nest in and around them, but also use them to connect up nesting areas.”

In this article by Catherine Keena (Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist) and Niall Hatch (Birdwatch Ireland), we learn about the behaviour of various bird species which nest in our hedgerows.


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