Mannok has relaunched Ireland’s first Kestrel Cam for the third consecutive year to help raise awareness and interest in the common kestrel, whose population is on the decline on the island of Ireland and is now a red-listed species, meaning it is at risk of extinction. Through the Kestrel Cam, which is a live streaming web cam accessible via Mannok’s website, everyone can watch a breeding pair of kestrels who have returned to nest and raise young in the company’s quarry.
Kestrel Cam began in 2021, when two discrete cameras were installed in the nesting location, under license from National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and in partnership with Netwatch, to enable Queen’s University Belfast to study the birds and to raise awareness of the need to protect the species and other wildlife across Ireland. Ecologist and Licensed Bird Ringer, Kez Armstrong studied the nesting pair of Kestrels for her PhD at Queen’s University.
This year, to re-establish the Kestrel Cam for the third year, over the winter months when the birds had vacated the nest, Mannok’s Environmental Team, and Netwatch carefully installed non-intrusive cameras in the usual nesting location.
Although these pair of kestrels have nested in the same nook of Mannok’s quarry face for the last six years, there was no certainty that they would choose the same nest. Thankfully, the Kestrel Cam project was able to relaunch for a third year as the pair were spotted inspecting the same nest in February of this year. Now everyone can appreciate nature by watching this pair of kestrels raise young during their breeding season.
Commenting on the importance of Kestrel Cam, Mannok’s Sustainability Manager, Paul Monaghan said,
“Following the success of Kestrel Cam in previous years, we are delighted to launch Kestrel Cam once again. As a company with a significant area of landholdings, we have a duty to not only enhance and protect our local biodiversity while we operate, but to also raise awareness of the nature that surrounds us. Through this live feed capturing nature right on our ‘door-step’, we want to help everyone, including employees, to appreciate the nature that surrounds us.
Kestrel Cam is one of many projects we are working on for the benefit of the environment, and we have plans to do much more, with many of our projects road mapped in our Mannok 2030 Vision. The Vision is our sustainability strategy which details our targets until the end of the decade, which are centred around three key pillars of People, Planet and Partners.”
Here’s a video of last year’s breeding season: