This page contains a selection of information on bird names in Ireland from the book:

Birds of Ireland: Facts, Folklore & History, by Glynn Anderson.

Published by The Collins Press, Cork, Ireland, September 2008. ISBN 1905172729

Please call back soon. This page is updated regularly.

The cuckoo and the gowk,
The laverock and the lark,
The heather bleat and mire snipe,
How many birds is that?

An old riddle from Northern Ireland
(there are three birds: cuckoo, skylark, snipe))
A selection of quirky old English-language bird names used in Ireland:
Old Name Modern Name (where)
Bitter Bum Bittern  
Cock of the Woods Capercaillie  
Corn Dumpling Corn Bunting Northern Ireland
Fairy Bird Little Tern Galway
Hedge Chicken Dunnock Northern Ireland
Mother Carey’s Chicken Storm Petrel widespread
Snowflake Snow Bunting Northern Ireland
Tittery Hay Bird Meadow Pipit Waterford
White Arse Wheatear widespread
A selection of beautiful old Irish-language bird names used in Ireland:
English Irish Translation
Blackcap (male) Donnchadh an chaipín little Dennis with the cap
Blackcap (female) Mairín an truis Maureen of the trousers
Blue Tit Diarmaid Beag little Dermot
Dotterel Amadán móinteach the bog idiot
Dunnock Máthair chéile the mother-in-law
Dunnock Bráthair an dreoilín the Wren's brother
Goldcrest Diairmín little Dermot
Grey Heron Síle na bportach Julie of the bog
Long-eared Owl Ceann cait the cat's head
Pied Wagtail Suibháinín an bhóthair little Joan of the street
Yellowhammer Siobháinín Buí yellow Joan
A selection of odd bird names, in Ulster Scots, used in Northern Ireland:
Ulster Scots English  
Bessy Dooker Dipper  
Bog Trotter Bittern  
Chitty Wran Wren  
Chookie Domestic Chicken  
Corney Keevor Mistle Thrush  
Gabshite Skua  
Glunthercock Turkey  
Snaabird (snowbird) Starling  
A selection of old bird names, formerly of widespread use in Ireland:
Old Name Modern Name  
Throstle, Mavis Song Thrush  
Storm Cock Mistle Thrush  
Ousel Blackbird  
Stare Starling  
Scald Crow Hooded Crow  
Water Ousel Dipper  
Windhover Kestrel  
Cushat Woodpigeon  
Woodquest Woodpigeon  
Laverock Skylark  
Titlark Pipit  
Blue Bonnet Blue Tit  
Gold-crested Wren Goldcrest  
Sally Wren Willow Warbler  
Irish Nightingale Sedge Warbler  
Halcyon Kingfisher  
Goatsucker Nightjar  
Loon Diver  
Erne Sea Eagle  
v.1.3  10 July 2009    
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