The Schools’ Collection
Crows are most common in this district. They never migrate. The crows build their nests on the tops of high trees. The robins build their nests in the holes of walls or in fences. Magpies build their nests on the chimney tops. The wrens build their nests on bushes or in holes of walls. Blackbirds and thrushes build their nests in ivy trees. The crow makes his nest from sticks and hay. The robin makes his nest moss and wool. The magpie makes his nest from earth and sticks. The wren makes his nest from moss and he puts feathers in the inside of it. The only birds that migrate are swallows cuckoos in this district. The swallows come to the district in the month of May and remain in it until August. The cuckoo comes to the district in the month of April and remains until September.
The weather can be judged by the behaviour of birds it is an old belief if the cuckoo sings on trees without leaves that corn will be scarce on that year. If the seagulls fly inland it is the sign of coming storm and rain. If the wild-geese fly inland it is the sign of coming snow. If the swallows fly high fine weather may be expected. For anglers in Spring it is always unlucky to see single magpies but two may be always regarded as a favourable omen and the reason is, that in cold and stormy weather one magpie alone leaves the nest in search of food the other remaining sitting upon the eggs or with the young but if two go out together it is only when the weather is warm and mild and favourable for fishing.
Collected by Eileen Dolan, Carnanthomas, and Ballymanagh N.S. Co. Galway, from Peter Fahy Roo, Craughwell. From duchas.ie