Daire O hUallachain (Teagasc) who presented Kilmagner National Pupils, Ailbhe Ryan, Daniel Ryan, Michael Collins and Gemma Ryan with prizes following the work they did on the Garden Bird Survey - a joint initiative by Kilmagner National School, Coolagown Development Group and sponsors AIB, Fermoy. Well done to all concerned. (Picture: John Ahern)

In March 2016 at Kilmagner NS Coolagown Development Group, in association with AIB Fermoy and Kilmagner Parents’ Association, launched a Garden Bird Survey to raise the awareness and promote an understanding of our over 50 types of Garden Birds and wildlife in general.

Dr Daragh O Huallachain, an Ecologist at Teagasc spoke to the pupils of 4th, 5th and 6th classes about wildlife, their needs and why they should be respected.

Each family was supplied with two bird feeders (one for Nyjer seed for Finches and one for Peanuts and Wildbird mix for general garden birds), a stand for the feeders and a supply of the two types of feed.

A Garden Bird Identification Chart was also supplied to help to identify the types of birds that came to the feeders.

The pupils were asked to identify the birds, to record the most frequent visitors and to take a picture of the bird(s) they liked best. The results of the Garden Bird Survey were enthusiastically presented to Daragh O hUallachain last week.

Each pupil had recorded their own personal results in a detailed diary and they also wrote about their favourite bird and made general observations on the visiting birds to their gardens.

The top 5 most frequent visitors were: Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Wren, Robin.

Crow, Pigeon, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin were also frequent visitors. The pupils’ favourite birds were Goldfinch,Robin, Blue Tit and Wren

At the end of a very enthusiastic and informative session by the pupils Daragh O Huallachain announced the winners of the Garden Bird Survey: Ailbhe and Daniel Ryan, Michael Collins and Gemma Ryan. Coolagown Development Group plans on repeating this Survey next year with the younger classes.

Principal, Trevor Grumbridge, said he was thrilled with the enthusiastic response by the pupils and thanked AIB Fermoy, Kilmagner Parents Association and Coolagown Development Group for their involvement and support in this interesting initiative.