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Birds of the Kerry Biosphere

min read

Birds of the Kerry Biosphere

min read


Birds of the Kerry Biosphere

The Birds of the Kerry Biosphere Project encourages engagement with the protected areas of the Kerry Biosphere Reserve and the habitats and animals there.

With online talks, in-person and online school workshops, a calendar art competition, an art exhibition, social events and more, this project aims for community wellbeing through arts and heritage engagement.

The project took place over 6 Months from March to August 2022 and included a wide range of events for different age groups and interests.

Thirty classes from schools in Kerry tuned in to an online art workshop facilitated by author and illustrator Katie O’Donoghue. The students learned about the birds who live in the Biosphere, what they look like and how to draw them. The Birds of the Kerry Biosphere colouring book with artwork by Katie O’Donoghue and text by Eleanor Turner was created as a resource and made available to primary schools around Kerry and available for download from the Kerry Biosphere website.

In conjunction with the workshop, the project ran a calendar art competition. Twelve drawings of Biosphere birds were selected from almost three hundred entries submitted by Kerry schoolchildren. All entries were included in an exhibition and the calendar was launched on the Summer solstice with an evening social event opening the art exhibition followed by a puppet show by Sean O’ Laoghaire and traditional music.

Five hundred schoolchildren got a chance to engage with hands-on workshops exploring different bird species and nest making facilitated by Shonagh Grey, Siobhan McAllister and Tara Buckley.

Outdoor events included two BioBlitzes; a BioBlitz focusses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. Participants visited two farms located within the Biosphere in May 2022 and identified over two hundred and thirty species. Artist Amanda Bentley Curran created original art works based on her impressions of the event. Also in May, Dr. Allan Mee led an Upland Bird Walk into the heart of the Biosphere, up the Macgillycuddy Reeks.

An evening social event at the Killarney Men’s Shed with Kerry Eco-Social Farming shared information on how to make and maintain a bird box in your garden, also including storytelling, music and song. Hosted in collaboration with Killarney Men’s Shed and Kerry EcoSocial Farming EIP Project. Music and songs by Killarney Men’s shed members, storytelling by Sean O’ Laoghaire, bird box discussion by Luke Myers.

Participant on Farmyard BioBlitz

"‘I wanted to thank you for organising such an interesting event. I learnt so much and had a marvellous time.’ "

Sean O’ Laoghaire

"‘The best Summer Solstice event I have been too.’ "

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