The breeding bird community of Balrath Wood, Co. Meath, 1996: A preliminary investigation.

  • Brian L. Duffy
  • John O'Halloran
  • Thomas C. Kelly
  • Paul M. Walsh Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, University College Cork.
Keywords: Forest fauna, birds, woodland bird community, woodland habitats.


During the breeding season of 1996, the birds of Balrath Wood, Co. Meath, were surveyed using the line transect technique. Twenty-four species were found to be present at the site, although four of these were unlikely to rely on the woodland directly. The bird communities of three separate habitats within the woodland, viz. woodland ridelines, completely wooded areas and external woodland edges, were compared. Relative abundance values were calculated for each species for each habitat. The overall abundance estimates for each habitat varied between 15.25 and 19.67 birds/ha. Ridelines with a range of early successional stage vegetation were found to contain the greatest number of species and the highest densities of birds. Wooded areas and external woodland edges both contained the same number of species, although density was higher in the latter. A relatively low number of hole-nesting species were recorded, possibly due to a shortage of suitable nesting sites.
How to Cite
Duffy, B. L., O’Halloran, J., Kelly, T. C. and Walsh, P. M. (1997) “The breeding bird community of Balrath Wood, Co. Meath, 1996: A preliminary investigation.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21June2024).