NI List



Northern Ireland List

For an up to date NI list see: https://nirbc.blogspot.co.uk/

It has been decided to follow the categories described in the Checklist of the Birds of Ireland published by the Irish Rare Birds Committee in 1998, with only minor differences.  The categories used in both lists however correspond closely (with only minor differences to categories C and D). This list follows the taxonomy and nomenclature of K.H. Voous (1977) and as subsequently modified in reports of the British Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee published in Ibis and British Birds.  However, it has been decided to keep those common names which are generally used by Irish observers without ambiguity. These categories and their meanings are listed below:
  • CATEGORY A: Species that have been recorded in an apparently natural state in Northern Ireland at least once since 1st January 1950
  • CATEGORY B: Species that have been recorded in an apparently natural state in Northern Ireland at least once up to 31st December 1949, but have not been recorded subsequently.
  • CATEGORY C1: Species that, although originally introduced by man, have established feral breeding populations in Northern Ireland which apparently maintain themselves without necessary recourse to further introduction.
  • CATEGORY C2: Species that have occurred, but are considered to have originated from feral populations outside Northern Ireland.
  • CATEGORY D1: Species that would otherwise appear in A or B except that there is a reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state.
  • CATEGORY D2: Species that have arrived through ship or other human assistance.
  • CATEGORY D3: Species that have only ever been found dead on the tideline.
  • CATEGORY D4: Species that would otherwise appear in Category C1 except that there is doubt about whether their feral populations are self-supporting.
  • CATEGORY E: Species that have been recorded as introductions, transportees or escapes from captivity.
NIBA collects data, where possible, on the status of all apparently wild birds occurring in Northern Ireland, and not just rarities. Thus observers are urged to record details of accurate census data on wildfowl and waders, breeding censuses of seabirds, birds seen outside their normal range, population increases and decreases and early and late arrivals of migrants.

NIBA supports CEDaR (Centre for Environmental Data and Recording) in the Ulster Museum in Belfast. With support from Northern Ireland Environment Agency, information relating to geology and the distribution of fauna and flora is held centrally on computer. This is made available for research, conservation and education purposes. However, the confidentiality of sensitive data is assured. Copeland Bird Observatory, The Raptor Study Group, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology all contribute data to CEDaR.


Common name International name Scientific name Category




Mute Swan
Cygnus olor AC1
Bewick’s Swan Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus A
Whooper Swan
Cygnus cygnus A
Bean Goose
Anser fabalis A
Pink-footed Goose
Anser brachyrhynchus A
White-fronted Goose Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons A
Greylag Goose
Anser anser AC1
Snow Goose
Anser caerulescens A
Greater Canada Goose Canada Goose Branta canadensis C1
Lesser Canada Goose Cackling Goose Branta hutchsinii A
Barnacle Goose
Branta leucopsis AC1
Brent Goose Brant Goose Branta bernicla A
Ruddy Shelduck
Tadorna ferruginea BD1
Shelduck Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna A
Mandarin Duck
Aix galericulata C1
Wigeon Eurasian Wigeon Anas Penelope A
American Wigeon
Anas Americana  A
Gadwall   
Anas strepera A
Baikal Teal
Anas formosa A
Teal Eurasian Teal Anas crecca A
Green-winged Teal
Anas carolinensis A
Mallard
Anas platyrhynchos AC1
Pintail Northern Pintail Anas acuta A
Garganey
Anas querquedula A
Blue-winged Teal
Anas discors A
Shoveler Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata A
Red-crested Pochard
Netta rufina A
Pochard Common Pochard Aythya ferina A
Ring-necked Duck
Aythya collaris A
Ferruginous Duck
Aythya nyroca A
Tufted Duck
Aythya fuligula A
Scaup Greater Scaup Aythya marila A
Lesser Scaup
Aythya affinis A
Eider Common Eider Somateria mollissima A
King Eider
Somateria spectabilis A
Long-tailed Duck
Clangula hyemalis A
Common Scoter Black Scoter Melanitta nigra A
Surf Scoter
Melanitta perspicillata A
Velvet Scoter
Melanitta fusca A
Barrow’s Goldeneye
Bucephala islandica A
Goldeneye Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula A
Hooded Merganser
Lophodytes cucullatus A
Smew
Mergellus albellus A
Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator A
Goosander Common Merganser Mergus merganser A
Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis C1C2
Red Grouse Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus A
Capercaillie Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus B
Grey Partridge
Perdix perdix AE
Quail Common Quail Coturnix coturnix A
Pheasant Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus C1
Red-throated Diver Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata A
Black-throated Diver Black-throated Loon Gavia arctica A
Great Northern Diver Great Northern Loon Gavia immer A
White-billed Diver Yellow-billed Loon Gavia adamsii A
Fulmar Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis A
Fea’s Petrel/Zino's Petrel
Pterodroma feae/madeira A
Cory’s Shearwater
Calonectris diomedea A
Great Shearwater
Puffinus gravis A
Sooty Shearwater
Puffinus griseus A
Manx Shearwater
Puffinus puffinus A
Balearic Shearwater
Puffinus mauretanicus A
Macaronesian Shearwater
Puffinus baroli A
Wilson’s Petrel Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus A
Storm Petrel European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus A
Leach’s Petrel Leach’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa A
Gannet Northern Gannet Morus bassanus A
Cormorant Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo A
Shag European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis A
Bittern Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris A
American Bittern
Botaurus lentiginosus B
Little Bittern
Ixobrychus minutus A
Night-Heron Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax           A
Squacco Heron
Ardeola ralloides      A
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis          A
Little Egret
Egretta garzetta A
Great White Egret Great Egret Ardea alba A
Grey Heron
Ardea cinerea A
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
White Stork
Ciconia ciconia A
Glossy Ibis
Plegadis falcinellus B
Spoonbill Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia A
Little Grebe
Tachybaptus ruficollis A
Great Crested Grebe
Podiceps cristatus A
Red-necked Grebe
Podiceps grisegena A
Slavonian Grebe Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus A
Black-necked Grebe
Podiceps nigricollis A
Honey-buzzard European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus A
Black Kite
Milvus migrans A
Red Kite
Milvus milvus AC2E
White-tailed Eagle
Haliaeetus albicilla BC2E
Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus A
Marsh Harrier Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus A
Hen Harrier Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus A
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus A
Montagu’s Harrier
Circus pygargus A
Goshawk Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis A
Sparrowhawk Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus A
Buzzard Common Buzzard Buteo buteo A
Rough-legged Buzzard Roughleg Buteo lagopus A
Golden Eagle
Aquila chrysaetos AE
Osprey
Pandion haliaetus A
Kestrel Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus A
Red-footed Falcon
Falco vespertinus A
Merlin
Falco columbarius A
Hobby Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo A
Gyr Falcon Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus A
Peregrine  Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus A
Water Rail
Rallus aquaticus A
Spotted Crake
Porzana porzana A
Corncrake Corn Crake Crex crex A
Moorhen Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus A
Coot Common Coot Fulica atra A
Crane Common Crane Grus grus A
Oystercatcher Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus A
Black-winged Stilt
Himantopus himantopus A
Avocet Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta A
Stone-curlew Eurasian Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus B
Collared Pratincole
Glareola pratincola A
Black-winged Pratincole
Glareola nordmanni A
Little Ringed Plover
Charadrius dubius A
Ringed Plover Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula A
Killdeer
Charadrius vociferus A
Kentish Plover
Charadrius alexandrinus A
Dotterel Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus                  A
American Golden Plover     
Pluvialis dominica A
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva A
Golden Plover European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria A
Grey Plover
Pluvialis squatarola A
Lapwing Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus A
Knot Red Knot Calidris canutus A
Sanderling
Calidris alba A
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Calidris pusilla A
Little Stint
Calidris minuta A
Temminck’s Stint
Calidris temminckii A
White-rumped Sandpiper
Calidris fuscicollis A
Baird’s Sandpiper
Calidris bairdii A
Pectoral Sandpiper
Calidris melanotos A
Curlew Sandpiper
Calidris ferruginea A
Stilt Sandpiper
Calidris himantopus A
Purple Sandpiper
Calidris maritima A
Dunlin
Calidris alpina A
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Limicola falcinellus A
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Tryngites subruficollis A
Ruff
Philomachus pugnax A
Jack Snipe
Lymnocryptes minimus A
Snipe Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago A
Wilson’s Snipe
Gallinago delicata A
Great Snipe
Gallinago media A
Long-billed Dowitcher
Limnodromus scolopaceus A
Woodcock Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola A
Black-tailed Godwit
Limosa limosa A
Bar-tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica A
Whimbrel
Numenius phaeopus A
Curlew Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata A
Upland Sandpiper
Bartramia longicauda A
Common Sandpiper
Actitis hypoleucos A
Spotted Sandpiper
Actitis macularius A
Green Sandpiper
Tringa ochropus A
Spotted Redshank
Tringa erythropus A
Greater Yellowlegs
Tringa melanoleuca A
Greenshank Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia A
Lesser Yellowlegs
Tringa flavipes A
Wood Sandpiper
Tringa glareola A
Redshank Common Redshank Tringa totanus A
Turnstone Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres A
Wilson’s Phalarope
Phalaropus tricolor A
Red-necked Phalarope
Phalaropus lobatus A
Grey Phalarope Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius A
Pomarine Skua Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus A
Arctic Skua Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus A
Long-tailed Skua Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus A
Great Skua
Stercorarius skua A
Ivory Gull
Pagophila eburnea A
Sabine’s Gull
Xema sabini A
Kittiwake Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla A
Bonaparte’s Gull
Chroicocephalus philadelphia A
Black-headed Gull Common Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus A
Little Gull
Hydrocoloeus minutus A
Ross’s Gull
Rhodostethia rosea A
Laughing Gull
Larus atricilla A
Franklin’s Gull
Larus pipixcan A
Mediterranean Gull
Larus melanocephalus A
Common Gull Mew Gull Larus canus A
Ring-billed Gull
Larus delawarensis A
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus A
Herring Gull
Larus argentatus A
Yellow-legged Gull
Larus michahellis A
Caspian Gull
Larus cachinnans A
American Herring Gull
Larus smithsonianus A
Iceland Gull
Larus glaucoides A
Thayer's Gull
Larus thayeri A
Glaucous Gull
Larus hyperboreus A
Great Black-backed Gull
Larus marinus A
Sooty Tern
Onychoprion fuscatus A
Little Tern
Sternula albifrons A
Gull-billed Tern
Gelochelidon nilotica A
Whiskered Tern
Chlidonias hybrida A
Black Tern
Chlidonias niger A
White-winged Black Tern White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus A
Sandwich Tern
Sterna sandvicensis A
Elegant Tern
Sterna elegans A
Forster’s Tern
Sterna forsteri A
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo A
Roseate Tern
Sterna dougallii A
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea A
Guillemot Common Murre Uria aalge A
Razorbill
Alca torda A
Great Auk 
Pinguinus impennis B
Black Guillemot
Cepphus grylle A
Little Auk
Alle alle A
Puffin Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica A
Pallas’s Sandgrouse
Syrrhaptes paradoxus B
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon Common Pigeon Columba livia A
Stock Dove
Columba oenas A
Woodpigeon Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus A
Collared Dove Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto A
Turtle Dove European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur A
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Clamator glandarius A
Cuckoo Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus A
Black-billed Cuckoo
Coccyzus erythropthalmus B
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Coccyzus americanus A
Barn Owl
Tyto alba A
Scops Owl Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops A
Snowy Owl
Bubo scandiacus A
Little Owl
Athene noctua C2
Long-eared Owl
Asio otus A
Short-eared Owl
Asio flammeus A
Nightjar European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus A
Swift Common Swift Apus apus A
Pallid Swift
Apus pallidus B
Alpine Swift
Apus melba A
Kingfisher Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis A
Belted Kingfisher
Megaceryle alcyon A
Bee-eater European Bee-eater Merops apiaster A
Roller European Roller Coracias garrulus A
Hoopoe Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops A
Wryneck Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla A
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Dendrocopos major A
Golden Oriole Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus A
Red-backed Shrike
Lanius collurio A
Great Grey Shrike
Lanius excubitor A
Woodchat Shrike
Lanius senator A
Chough Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax A
Magpie Eurasian Magpie Pica pica A
Jay Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius A
Jackdaw Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula A
Rook
Corvus frugilegus A
Carrion Crow
Corvus corone A
Hooded Crow
Corvus cornix A
Raven Northern Raven Corvus corax A
Goldcrest
Regulus regulus A
Firecrest
Regulus ignicapilla A
Blue Tit
Cyanistes caeruleus A
Great Tit
Parus major A
Coal Tit
Periparus ater A
Short-toed Lark Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla A
Woodlark Wood Lark Lullula arborea B
Skylark Sky Lark Alauda arvensis A
Shore Lark Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris A
Sand Martin
Riparia riparia A
Swallow Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica A
House Martin Common House Martin Delichon urbicum A
Red-rumped Swallow
Cecropis daurica A
Long-tailed Tit Long-tailed Bushtit Aegithalos caudatus A
Pallas’s Warbler Pallas’s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus A
Yellow-browed Warbler
Phylloscopus inornatus A
Radde’s Warbler
Phylloscopus schwarzi A
Wood Warbler
Phylloscopus sibilatrix A
Chiffchaff
Phylloscopus collybita A
Willow Warbler
Phylloscopus trochilus A
Blackcap Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla A
Garden Warbler
Sylvia borin A
Barred Warbler
Sylvia nisoria A
Lesser Whitethroat
Sylvia curruca A
Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis A
Subalpine Warbler
Sylvia cantillans A
Grasshopper Warbler Common Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia A
Icterine Warbler
Hippolais icterina A
Melodious Warbler
Hippolais polyglotta A
Sedge Warbler
Acrocephalus schoenobaenus A
Reed Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus A
Waxwing Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus A
Treecreeper Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris A
Wren Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes A
Starling Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris A
Rose-coloured Starling Rosy Starling Pastor roseus A
Dipper White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus A
White’s Thrush Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma A
Ring Ouzel
Turdus torquatus A
Blackbird Common Blackbird Turdus merula A
Fieldfare
Turdus pilaris A
Song Thrush
Turdus philomelos A
Redwing
Turdus iliacus A
Mistle Thrush
Turdus viscivorus A
American Robin
Turdus migratorius A
Spotted Flycatcher
Muscicapa striata A
Robin European Robin Erithacus rubecula A
Nightingale Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos A
Bluethroat
Luscinia svecica A
Black Redstart
Phoenicurus ochruros A
Redstart Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus A
Whinchat
Saxicola rubetra A
Stonechat Eurasian Stonechat Saxicola torquatus A
Wheatear Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe A
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Ficedula parva A
Pied Flycatcher Eurasian Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca A
Dunnock
Prunella modularis A
House Sparrow
Passer domesticus A
Tree Sparrow Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus A
Yellow Wagtail
Motacilla flava A
Citrine Wagtail
Motacilla citreola A
Grey Wagtail
Motacilla cinerea A
Pied Wagtail White Wagtail Motacilla alba A
Richard’s Pipit
Anthus richardi A
Tawny Pipit
Anthus campestris A
Tree Pipit
Anthus trivialis A
Meadow Pipit
Anthus pratensis A
Red-throated Pipit
Anthus cervinus A
Rock Pipit Eurasian Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus A
Water Pipit
Anthus spinoletta A
Buff-bellied Pipit
Anthus rubescens A
Chaffinch
Fringilla coelebs A
Brambling
Fringilla montifringilla A
Greenfinch European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris A
Goldfinch European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis A
Siskin Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus A
Linnet Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina A
Twite
Carduelis flavirostris A
Lesser Redpoll
Carduelis cabaret A
Mealy Redpoll Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea A
Two-barred Crossbill
Loxia leucoptera B
Common Crossbill Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra A
Common Rosefinch
Carpodacus erythrinus A
Bullfinch Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula A
Hawfinch
Coccothraustes coccothraustes A
Snow Bunting
Plectrophenax nivalis A
Lapland Bunting Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus A
Scarlet Tanager
Piranga olivacea A
Fox Sparrow
Passerella iliaca A
White-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis A
Dark-eyed Junco
Junco hyemalis A
Yellowhammer
Emberiza citrinella A
Rustic Bunting
Emberiza rustica A
Little Bunting
Emberiza pusilla A
Reed Bunting Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus A
Black-headed Bunting
Emberiza melanocephala A
Corn Bunting
Emberiza calandra A
Black-and-white Warbler
Mniotilta varia A




Category D


Wood Duck
Aix sponsa D1
Greater Flamingo
Phoenicopterus D1
Red-legged Partridge
Alectoris rufa D4
Booted Eagle
Hieraaetus pennata D1
Red-headed Bunting
Emberiza bruniceps D1

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