The Cliffs of Moher and the area surrounding are home to one of the largest colonies of cliff nesting birds in Ireland. The Cliffs are offering you a viewing of over 20 different species. The area was designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) for Birds under the EU Birds Directive. The designation covers 200 hectares and highlights the area’s importance for wildlife. There are more than 20 species of nesting birds within the area, including nine species of breeding seabirds with internationally important numbers of guillemot and razorbill and also significant numbers of puffin, kittiwake and fulmar.
Without travelling over the sea to one of our offshore islands there is really no better place to view seabirds in numbers than at the Cliffs of Moher. Over 30,000 pairs of nesting seabirds can be seen during the nesting period from April to July with the months of May and June particularly impressive. The abundance of nesting sites along the cliff edges and the ability to view these from the cliff top paths make it easy for all to access this natural spectacle.
From late February on worth seabirds like guillemot, razorbill, great black backed gulls and shag begin to return to the Cliffs from their wintering grounds – while the Atlantic puffin arrives around the end of March. You may also be lucky enough to see endangered bird species like choughs and peregrine falcons.
According to the seabird census the Cliffs of Moher supports the largest Guillemot and Razorbill colonies in the Republic of Ireland.
The Cliffs of Moher hold the largest mainland colony of Puffins in Ireland. The main colony can be seen at Goat Island just under the first viewing point. There are smaller colonies on the grassy summits to the north and south of this area. Razorbill numbers in particular seem to have increased at the cliffs they are easily recognised by its broader and heavy marked bill.
Species like Fulmar and Guillemot can be seen at the Cliffs all year round along with Chough, Peregrine Falcon, Ravens and many more common species. Other species of seabirds like the Gannet can be seen passing the shores during the breeding season as can be dolphins and seals. Not only at the Cliffs of Moher but also along the coast to the loop point.