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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

RSPB NI: Rathlin’s Return - The Calling Corncrake’s Seasonal Home

Corncrake, Crex crex.

Corncrake, Crex crex. Photo Credit: Andy Hay

RSPB NI is excited to announce that the distinctive call of the Corncrake has been heard once again on Rathlin Island today (17th April).

These elusive birds, once widespread in Northern Ireland, have seen a decline in numbers in recent decades due to changes in agricultural practices.  

This endangered species faced extinction in Northern Ireland in the 1990s. However, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the "Giving Corncrake a Home" project from RSPB NI, these birds made a triumphant return to Rathlin Island in 2014. The project, which has been running for over a decade, continues to play a crucial role in saving the red-listed species. 

Corncrake, Crex crex.

Liam McFaul, RSPB NI Rathlin Reserves Warden, stated:

"The return of the Corncrake to Rathlin Island each year is evidence of the conservation efforts in the area. We have been working alongside RSPB staff and volunteers to create habitat for this species on Rathlin. Without this help, this species would have faced extinction in Northern Ireland.

“Corncrake prefer to nest in cover, such as nettles. With the help of farmers and volunteers, we dig up nettle plants from the mainland and transport them to Rathlin to create ideal habitats for this species.” 

The success of the Corncrake returning each year is a testament to the dedication and passion of the community, farmers, and RSPB NI in their collective efforts to secure a future for the Corncrake on Rathlin Island.  


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