Recently I heard the cuckoo call at 11pm. It called clear as a bell for a full three minutes. Paul Keogh Ardfert, Co Kerry In April I open (...)

Territorial: a raven’s skirmishes can be claw to claw. Illustration: Michael Viney

Living beneath the flight path of ravens commuting from the mountains to the shore has let me eavesdrop on a good few of the 64 calls supposedly ident(...)

I came on a pair of choughs in combat – “handbag” stuff. The rest of the flock seemed not hugely interested. Kevin Kenneally Allihies, Co Cork (...)

Giant deer: as they grew, their antlers grew too. Illustration: Michael Viney

I suppose I shall get better at navigating the virtual tour that the natural history museum in Dublin now offers at its website, although I can still (...)

An unusual spider – round, dark brown and very glossy – was in my kitchen. Claire Crowther Bray, Co Wicklow It is the false widow spider, f(...)

Eager beaver: could the animal’s river engineering help save Ireland’s wild salmon and trout from decline? Illustration: Michael Viney

The great inventory of fossil bones unearthed in Irish caves summons up the ancient mammal history of the island. Exploring the rubble of limestone ca(...)

I heard a crash on our sunroom window and saw a jackdaw pinned down and being attacked ferociously by a grey crow. It caught the jackdaw by one leg(...)

Warm-water creature: the gooseneck barnacle drifts from the subtropical Atlantic. Illustration: Michael Viney

The BBC’s teatime quiz show Pointless, which rewards its competitors for the most “obscure” answers to an eclectic range of questions, reminds me how (...)

Dandelions: we treat them as weeds, but these golden wild flowers are an important source of food for a vital insect. Illustration: Michael Viney

An annual spring communion with the polytunnel’s visiting bumblebees found me in a bright-blue T-shirt, the tunnel’s rising warmth having stripped me (...)

Eye on Nature

We watched an otter swimming off Cromane Strand. He was basking in the sunshine, the picture of contentment. He would dive and reappear munching ha(...)