Nesting River Birds in Built Structures Survey 2018

We are looking for breeding records of river bird species nesting in built structures along our waterways.

Ireland supports a rich and diverse network of rivers, canals and other waterways. These sites are often dificult to access, providing challanges in monitoring for biodiversity. However, Ireland's waterways are highly attractive and are regularly visited by tourists, anglers, canoeists and other recreational users, who can play an important role in recording river bird nest sites they encounter on their travels.   

Sand Martin nest in wall,Griffith Park, Dublin 2012.Photo by Mark Carmody 

This summer, we are asking you to keep your eyes peeled if you are visiting your local waterways. We are looking for details of your sightings of all riverine species using areas within man made structures to nest. This behaviour is commonly observed with Dippers using bridges, Sand Martins using quay walls and Grey Wagtails using holes in old mill walls to build nests for example. 

We are especieally interested in nesting records of;


Sand Martin

Grey Wagtail


We welcome any other records of river birds seen to have nested in or on a man-made structure.

To enter a record just click "HERE" on a specially designed survey page created by The National Biodiversity Data Centre. Completing it is really easy.

*Note it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to take photos of a birds nest without a licence. We will happily accept photos of teh structures in which the nest is built but not photos that necessitate approaching the nest for this will potentially cause undue stress and disturbance to the birds. 

Please take a look and give it a go! Or contact us if you have any queries.


This project is kindly supported by the Heritage Council

View the 2017 Survey Report Here



Enter your Nest Records here!




Ballyhad Bridge - old bridges with cavities are especially good for nesting Dippers. Photo by Alex Copland.

Dipper nest at Clara Birdge, Co. Offaly. Photo by Alex Copland.

Kingfisher nest hole on the River Nore. Photo by Ruth Gaj McKeever.


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