RTÉ Radio One’s live Dawn Chorus will be heard in more places this year as broadcasters in Kazakhstan, Israel, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus and beyond take the show live.
Initially, the programme was confined to Ireland, but in 2016 the simulcast brought together the European Broadcasting Union and BirdLife International, the global partnership of bird conservation organisations.
It will feature live birdsong and expert commentary spanning the entire continent, with a special live seven-hour radio programme from midnight on Saturday 4th May until 7:00am on Sunday 5th May
This will be the 24th live celebration of early-morning birdsong from RTÉ’s Mooney Goes Wild team, and the fourth to go fully international.
Home base for the programme this year will be BirdWatch Ireland’s Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Co. Cork, where the main presentation team of Derek Mooney, Richard Collins and Niall Hatch will introduce the dawn chorus and, while the birdsong builds in real time, explain to listeners what our feathered friends are getting up to across Europe as the sun rises.
BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland, YLE Finland, LRT Lithuania, ABC Australia will be taking the programme once again, and for the very first time, will be joined live by Kazakhstan, Israel, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus as well as BBC Wales and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
Eric Dempsey will be in St. Anne’s Park in Dublin City, Susan O’Donohoe will have Cuckoos from the Burren in Co. Clare and Terry Flanagan will be reporting from Luttrellstown Castle in Co. Dublin.
Elsewhere in Dublin, star actors June Rodgers and Rory Cowan will be on hand to bring even more birdsong. They will check in with the Ostriches at Cork’s Fota Wildlife Park with RTÉ’s Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh and hear the distinctive call of the Corncrakes along the coast of Co Donegal.
In addition, in advance of the main Dawn Chorus broadcast, RTÉ Radio One will be airing a special one-hour prerecorded programme at 2000 on Saturday 4th May, crossing all continents to bring listeners the finest bird song from Hong Kong, Brazil, Ghana, Antarctica, Canada, Australia, as well as Ireland.