Caution- Buzzards Nesting

May
1

Note to mountain users on lower eastern slopes of Slieve Donard- Buzzards nesting.

A pair of buzzards has taken to nesting near the lesser uses paths leading south out of Donard Park, near the Granite Trail.

Accordingly, please take care in that vicinity and spread the word to others to do so. Birds of prey will typically 'alarm call' at any perceived threat that comes too close to the nest site and it is on rarer occasions they may dive if the threat persists. 

We suggest that people stay clear of known nesting areas where possible until the breeding season is over, typically around the end of July.

Birds of prey in Northern Ireland are protected under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, as amended by the Wildlife and Environment Act (NI) 2011 and it is illegal to disturb them at, in, on or near their nests. These birds sit at the top of their food chain and, as a result, are very sensitive to changes in the environment. This leaves each individual vulnerable and populations unstable. The success of breeding attempts can be affected by disturbance, with eggs and chicks at risk from chilling, predication and starvation when the adults are responding to perceived threats. One or two successive poor breeding years is enough to cause radical declines in some species. With the precautions outlined though we can co-exist harmoniously with these important birds.

Image source RSPB Northern Ireland Website.

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