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Friday 29 September 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Lucky Escape
Someone tried to kill these Peregrine Falcons by feeding them poisoned pigeons
It is believed that someone made a deliberate attempt to kill the birds – the public is being asked to help protect the peregrines.

p2 Kevin Maguire Kevin Maguire

PEREGRINE FALCONS ON Killiney Hill/Dalkey Quarry had a lucky escape after a passer-by realised someone had left pigeons for them to eat.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said tonight it is calling on climbers and walkers in the area to help protect the Peregrine Falcons, which are nesting in the quarry and have four chicks nearly ready to fledge.

Peregrine Falcons are a protected species and the deliberate killing of them is a criminal offence.

Significant threat

_MG_5409 Kevin Maguire Kevin Maguire

The Department said that a “significant threat” to the birds has arisen, as on Wednesday evening a walker noticed two tethered pigeons flapping near the Perigrine Falcons’ nest.

The pigeons’ wings had been clipped to stop them flying, and the birds had been attached to ground stakes. They also had a “wet substance” on their neck.

The pigeons were brought to the State laboratories for testing.

It is believed that they were laced with a poison in a deliberate attempt to kill the breeding Falcons. Peregrines eat live prey and would have been attracted to the pigeons by their wing flapping as they attempted to escape their tethers.

The Department fears that more attempts may be made to interfere with the birds.

What the public can do

p1 Kevin Maguire Kevin Maguire

The NPWS and the Parks Department for Killiney Hill, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council are now calling on the public who use the park to remain vigilant and report any similar incidents.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Look out for people acting suspiciously around the nest area
  • Keep watch for tethered birds or birds fluttering a lot in the one area but not moving, which may mean that they are tied in some way.
  • Report any dead birds seen
  • Keep children and pets away from suspect birds

”It is not tolerable for these majestic and extraordinary birds of prey or any other wildlife to be persecuted or poisoned,” said Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

If you come across a suspect bird, you’re asked to call Maurice Eakin of the National Parks and Wildlife Service on 086 8059240, while at the scene.

  • Do not touch or remove the bird unless told to do so
  • A Wildlife Ranger will attend to the bird
  • If possible, stay in the area until a Ranger is present to deter the Peregrines from accessing the prey item
  • If this isn’t possible, say this in your initial phone call.

Read: White-tailed eagles found poisoned in Co Cork>

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