We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Quiz: How much do you know about cuckoos and vultures?

Don’t get in a flap about this.

DEPENDING ON WHO you ask, the government has either ruffled the feathers of certain birds or have been acting a bit bird-brained in recent days.

Stories of so-called cuckoo funds and vulture funds making life difficult for first-time buyers ignited renewed debate on Ireland’s housing crisis.

The government took action this week by enacting legislation to make it more difficult for them to operate - but opposition parties argue it doesn’t go far enough.

But maybe, just maybe, all the situation needed was a tongue-in-cheek quiz about vultures and cuckoos? Is that the solution to Ireland’s housing crisis? We’re about to find out.

What does an adult cuckoo look like?

Do we have any native vultures in Ireland?
Cuckoos are known for laying eggs in the nests of other birds. What's the next part of this devious plan?
The victim of this bird crime raises the cuckoo chick along with its own until eventually the adult cuckoo returns and removes the other fledgling from its nest.
The adult cuckoo returns when the nest is unattended and eats the other eggs.

Once the cuckoo fledgling hatches it proceeds to kick the other eggs out of the nest.
It tricks the other bird into signing adoption papers for its egg.
What is a vulture fund?
A company that buys properties but withholds them from the market to create a supply shortage.
A hedge fund that only sells its assets if it can guarantee a 200% profit.

A hedge fund that targets distressed investments.
It's like a PRSA pension plan but for vultures.
And what is a cuckoo fund?
A commercial letting company that incessantly raises rents.
When housing is bought by an investor before it becomes available on the open market.

The same as a vulture fund, but for property.
A fund that birds who have been the victim of cuckoos can seek compensation from.
When are you most likely to see cuckoos in Ireland?
April to August
November and December

All year round
All year round (but they molt excessively in autumn and will often hide away for several months)
Old World vultures and New World vultures look very similar. Surely they're related, right?
What? Of course they are, and very closely related at that too. Look at how similar they look.
Only distantly. The fact that they look so similar is an example of convergent evolution, where species independently develop similar traits.
When did vulture funds first arrive in a big way in Ireland?
After the dot-com bubble burst
During the property boom

After the property crash
In the late 1990s, as the Celtic Tiger started to gain momentum
What is the name of the investment fund at the centre of the controversial purchase of 135 homes at a new development in Co Kildare?
Lone Star Capital
Round Hill Capital

Maynooth Hill Capital
Irish Hill Capital
If you upset a turkey vulture, what will it likely do to you?
It will start crying, like the deep gutteral sob of an adult man.
Attack with its large talons.

It will just flee, they want nothing to do with humans.
It will vomit at you.
Is the roadrunner related to the common cuckoo?
This rather intense-looking fellow has a suitably intense diet - the bearded vulture is the only vertebrate to eat almost exclusively...

Other bearded vultures
The Dail voted to impose 10% stamp duty on bulk purchases of properties (not including apartments) in a bid to tackle cuckoo funds. What counts as a bulk purchase?
Two or more units on a cumulative basis over a 12 month period
Any situation where the person buying the property doesn't intend to occupy it

Five or more units on a cumulative basis over a 12 month period
10 or more units on a cumulative basis over a 12 month period
The Dáil heard this week that vulture funds are preparing to do what in Ireland?
Spread their wings
Sink in their talons

Pick the country apart like a corpse (a bit much, right?)
Gobble it up with their big beaks
Finally, Dustin the Turkey is...
... 100% a turkey.
... part turkey and part vulture, but has given conflicting answers on the exact breakdown, ranging from 10% to 50% vulture.

... 100% a turkey vulture.
Answer all the questions to see your result!
You scored out of !
You are this tiny bird, who still loves their child unconditionally, even if they are suspiciously large
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You are the needlessly intense bearded vulture
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You are this extremely large cuckoo fledgling
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You are a turkey, the wanna-be vultures of the bird world
Share your result:
You scored out of !
You are the Dublin housing market
Share your result:

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel