Nature Projects

To read more about the School Black-Tailed Godwit project, click here!

The school has been involved in observing and recording many aspects of natural history both in the school grounds, at the Birdwatch Ireland nature reserve at Cuskinny Marsh, and even in the gardens of the pupils of the school. The school has kept detailed records for the last twelve years. One of the highlights of this work was winning the regional section of the Esso Schools Wildlife Program. Don Conroy, who has visited the school on a few occasions presented us with the prize. The school has featured many times on RTE's "Mooney Goes Wild on 1" on topics such as the nestbox survey and our visit to nearby Fota Wildlife Park.

Nest Box Survey – Details of the survey pupils have been involved in since 1990. Update of this year’s visits by the pupils.

Winter Garden Bird Survey – Results of surveys done by pupils from 4th – 6th classes since 1995. Yearly update from now on.

Weather Recording – Graphs of rainfall, temperature and wind recorded by the pupils. Updated each month.

School Garden – Potatoes grown by Mr. Fleming and his 5th class

Bird Ringing in the school

We were delighted that on Thursday 12th March 2009 we were visited by former East Cork Wildlife Ranger, Pat Smiddy. Together with local wildlife expert Jim Wilson and his son Peter they were here to try to ring some garden birds. They set up the mist nets first. These are so fine that they are almost invisible. The bird does not see the net and flies into it. Because of the weather conditions no bird was ringed on the day but the class learned a lot from the experience:-

There are several different sizes of ring to fit all the different sizes of birds, from a goldcrest to a mute swan. We were shown these rings by Pat.

People often wonder if the bird would be weighed down by the ring. The ring is so light, in fact, that it makes no difference to the bird, It is made of extremely light but strong alloys of aluminium. The ring worn by a robin weighs only 0.047grams. It takes over 300 of them to equal the robin’s own weight! The ring causes as little inconvenience to the bird as your wrist-watch does to you!

Ringing can reveal lots of information about the different species of birds. It helps people to understand the migration routes of birds. This tie in very much with our study of the Black tailed Godwit. Although the rings are different – they are combinations of coloured ring – they give us the same information. (Check out our Godwit page on the website.) Ringing can also tell us how long birds live.

Thanks again to Pat, Jim and Peter for calling. It was a very interesting morning.