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Friary project set up to save endangered birds

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By Michelle Crean

A community project has been specifically created and installed at the Franciscan Friary to protect a species of endangered bird.

The nest boxes being fitted at the Franciscan Friary.

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16 nest boxes, produced locally by Stephan de Beer in his small factory, Genisis Nest Boxes in Currow, were put up on the church in readiness for the imminent return of swifts to town.

Leane’s Tool Hire Killarney, provided the machine and operator to reach the height that was needed to secure the boxes while Yvonne Quill and Kathleen Foley of Killarney Looking Good (Killarney Tidy Towns) provided the funding for the whole of project.

The idea for the project came about as the swifts (Apus apus) or Gabhlán gaoithe, a migratory species,
have recently been declared “of conservation concern” and are now on “the red list” in Ireland and the UK.

Swifts are about the same size as a swallow, but are a dark colour all over. They spend virtually all of their lives in the air and are never seen resting on wires, like swallows and house martins, who they might sometimes get confused with. They have tiny feet which do not allow them to move around easily on the ground, but do help them to cling to walls and cliffs. They are one of the fastest birds in flight in Ireland.

"Swifts pair for life and they return to the same site each year to lay and incubate their eggs," Chris Barron, from Killarney National Park Education Centre, said.

"They like to nest in houses and churches, squeezing through tiny gaps to nest inside roofs. But as more old buildings are knocked down or are renovated and the gaps in soffits and elsewhere that the swifts used are closed up, their natural nesting sites are fast disappearing and the provision of artificial nest boxes as an alternative, becoming more and more important."

Swifts eat only insects, which they catch and eat while they fly. The adult birds will catch insect prey and bring it back to the nest for the young. It is thought that with the numbers of insects declining so rapidly, that this is also contributing to the decline of the birds through less food being available to them and their chicks.

"In 2019, 13 active nests had been counted on the eastern side of the church, but it was discovered last year that these had been blocked up when renovations took place in 2020. When swifts are blocked out of a building that they have previously nested in, they are known to return for at least six years, trying to gain access. So, every year that they return and cannot get in, is another year that they are not able to breed."

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Two Mile School “Says Yes to Japanese”

The pupils and staff of Two Mile Community National School were delighted to welcome Mr Norio Maruyama,  the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland on Tuesday. The Ambassador was at the school […]

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The pupils and staff of Two Mile Community National School were delighted to welcome Mr Norio Maruyama,  the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland on Tuesday.

The Ambassador was at the school to promote the teaching of the Japanese language and culture through the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ programme.

“The pupils in Two Mile were very interested to listen to stories about Japan and to learn about the links between our two countries,” said school principal Catherine Barry.
“As a multi-denominational school, we are very open to different languages and cultures and we look forward to working with the Japanese embassy from next September.”
Two Mile Community National School is the only multi-denominational school in the Killarney school district.

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 Photographer Anastasiia goes Out and About for Killarney Advertiser.

The Killarney Advertiser is pleased to announce that Anastasiia Garbera has joined the team. Anastasiia is a photographer from Ukraine. She has been living in Killarney for nearly two years […]

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The Killarney Advertiser is pleased to announce that Anastasiia Garbera has joined the team.

Anastasiia is a photographer from Ukraine. She has been living in Killarney for nearly two years and is trying to establish a freelance photography business.
“I love my job. I’ve been shooting for 11 years. I adore photography and connect my life with it. The best thing for me is to show girls and families, brides how beautiful they are. I think it’s my main mission.No need to be a model. We are all beautiful and special. You just need to build more self-confidence. And be sure, I will help you with it.”
Keep an eye out for Anastasiia as she goes Out and About for The Killarney Advertiser.
If you are organising an event and need a photographer email info@killarneyadvertiser.ie for more details.

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