The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) is Ireland's programme for monitoring population trends of wintering waterbirds and the habitats they use. Each winter over 400 skilled volunteers, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Conservation Rangers and BirdWatch Ireland staff monitor wintering waterbird populations at their wetland sites across the Republic of Ireland. The survey has been running for over 25 years, covering around 250 sites and 750 subsites per annum across the country, resulting in a wealth of data with which to inform the monitoring and conservation of wintering waterbirds, wetland habitats and the broader environment.

Hundreds of thousands of migratory waterbirds spend the winter in Ireland, relying on our wetlands to feed and rest. These wild birds and the habitats they rely on are protected by national and EU legislation. I-WeBS data allows for annual monitoring of over 50 wintering waterbird species and to help inform their conservation, including to help evaluate potential impacts of proposed developments. These species are also important indicators of the health of our wetland habitats and the wider environment, and I-WeBS data has been used in tandem with similar international surveys to examine the effects of climate change at a global scale.

We’re always in need of new counters, so if you have a telescope and would like to get involved to help monitor your local waterbirds, please get in touch!

Become an I-WeBS counter

Enter your count data online

Find your local sites and subsites

See national population trends of wintering waterbirds as monitored through I-WeBS

See annual peak counts for each I-WeBS site

See species trend data for individual wetland sites monitored through I-WeBS.

Practice and test your waterbird ID skills

Publications and research using I-WeBS data

Papers, Reports, Newsletters & Articles

The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) is coordinated by BirdWatch Ireland under contract to the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The success of the survey to date is a result of the huge effort and dedication of volunteer counters, NPWS Conservation Rangers and BirdWatch Ireland staff over many years, for which we are very thankful.