Monday 20 September 2010
Cobh has something to crow about!
(Indian House Crow Corvus Splendens in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland)
On Sunday 9th September, local Cobh man Jim Wilson, spotted a rare Indian House Crow in Cobh. As the name suggests the Indian House Crow comes from the Indian subcontinent but during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries spread to over 20 countries in South-west Asia, East Africa, and Middle East by deliberate introduction or by hitching a ride on passing ships.
The nearest breeding population of this species to Cobh is in Hoek van Holland, near the busy seaport of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It is thought that these birds got there on ships sailing through the Suez Canal where Egypt has a breeding population. They were first seen in the Netherlands in 1994 and first breeding was reported there in 1997. Currently there are 26 individual with six to eight pairs breeding.
Cobh is situated in Cork harbour, one of Ireland’s busiest ports and five or six ships arrive into the port from Rotterdam each week. It takes about 30 hours to make the trip and so it would be no trouble at all for a bird like this to arrive in Cobh.
Commenting on the bird, Jim Wilson said: “The only other Indian House Crow I have seen was in the fishing village of Dunmore East in County Waterford in 1979. That was the first Irish and European record of this species and had been there since 1974.”
He continued: “Since the news of this bird started to spread, many ‘twitchers’ from around Ireland have travelled to Cobh to see the bird and at least 150 ‘twitchers’ flew or got the ferry to Cork from Britain during the week just to come to Cobh to see the crow so they could add it to their list.
The Port of Cork would like to thank Jim Wilson for supply and use of these images. All copyright retained by Jim Wilson.
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