What Is The National Bird of Ireland?

What Is The National Bird of Ireland?

Northern lapwing is the National Bird of Ireland. In the year 1990, the Irish Wildlife Conservancy declared the northern lapwing bird as the national bird of the Republic of Ireland, while the Eurasian oystercatcher acts as the national bird for Northern Ireland.

This decision was made in 1961 albeit unofficially. Several birds have been put forward as suitable candidates for the national bird position. These birds have included species such as the
peregrine falcon, Eurasian Curlew, Bohemian waxwing, common swift, and northern pintail.


  • Length Range: 30-33 cm (12-13 in)
  • Weight: 198 g (7 oz)
  • Size: Medium (9 – 16 in)
  • Color Primary: Green, White, Sheen or Iridescence
  • Underparts: White with yellow-brown coverts.
  • Upperparts: Glossy dark green
  • Back Pattern: Solid
  • Belly Pattern: Solid
  • Breast Pattern: Solid


Northern Lapwing is an elegant bird. Highly migratory, this species is common throughout temperate regions of Eurasia. Adult male in breeding plumage has glossy green upperparts, including wing coverts and tertials. Scapulars show purple sheen. Primary flight feathers are buffy-white tipped.

The rump is chestnut. the upper tail is white with a broad subterminal black band and a narrow white terminal line. Outer rectrices are entirely white. Underparts are white, except for black chin, throat, and breast. Undertail coverts are chestnut. Underwing coverts are white, except for median and greater primary coverts which are black, as the flight feathers. Wings are long and broad.

Adult female in breeding plumage has less conspicuously marked head than male, and she has a shorter crest. She is similar to a male in nonbreeding plumage.

Facts About the National Bird of Ireland

  • The average wingspan of the Northern lapwing is about 2 and a half feet across. Their body, from the tip of the beak to the tail, is just a little over 1 foot long.
  • Northern lapwings eat small vegetation or on small insects or bugs, normally found close to water. They prefer to do their foraging and eating at night.
  • These birds belong to the larger lapwing family. The lapwings are so-called because of the lapping sound that their wings make in flight.


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