Migrating swans electrocuted near Donegal village

FIFTEEN swans have been found dead near Carrigans after flying into power lines.

According to BirdWatch Ireland many of the deceased whooper swans – a protected migratory species that arrives in Ireland from Iceland during the winter – were juveniles.

 Around 700 whooper swans were counted in a field immediately adjacent to the site on Friday and Birdwatch Ireland says it fears the incident may not be the last.


“BirdWatch Ireland is very worried that whooper swans will continue to be electrocuted at this site in the days and weeks to come unless urgent action is taken,” the organisation said. 

The ESB said it had put a plan in place to prevent further deaths. It said network crews will attach additional “game guard discs” which are used to warn off birds from the hitting the lines. Local residents will be briefed.

However, BirdWatch Ireland had said it was concerned these “deflectors” were not working properly.


“Indeed, several of these deflector devices have been knocked off the wires due to the swan collisions, further reducing [their] visibility.

“Ireland hosts internationally important numbers of whooper swans each autumn and winter, and it has a special responsibility to conserve and protect them,” said Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland.

“We sincerely hope that measures can be put in place to prevent further swan deaths as soon as possible.”


The organisation said some of the birds had been recently killed, while others showed varying levels of decomposition, indicating that they had died at different times.

Whooper swans are very large birds with pure white plumage, long necks and smooth, sloping beaks which are yellow and black in colour.




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