Rare Yellow-crowned Night Heron visits Belcarra

Birdwatchers from all over the world have been making their way to our beautiful village of Belcarra in Co Mayo, to catch a glimpse of a species of bird never before seen in Ireland or the UK.

The Yellow-crowned Night Heron originates from North America and was first spotted in the village by local girl Lorraine Ryan Jennings on Sunday 26th May 2024. News quickly spread and within 24 hours almost 50 bird watchers had arrived in the village from the UK. Since Sunday the yellow-crowned night heron has been residing in trees alongside the popular river side walk in Belcarra.

The “extraordinary” sighting has been described as a “once in a lifetime experience” by bird and wildlife experts.

It is believed the bird may have arrived in the west of Ireland after getting caught up in the Atlantic hurricane system last Autumn and it is unlikely the bird will ever be able to get back across the Atlantic by itself.

Chairperson of the Belcarra Community Council Fionnan Nestor said it was wonderful to see so many visitors flocking to the village to see the heron.

“We are so pleased to see so many people coming into the village to see the bird. This beautiful bird lives right above our riverside walk, and we are delighted to be able to showcase this part of our village to all the visitors coming in.”


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