A Laois ornithologist and wildlife expert, Ricky Whelan, is to bring his unusual lecture and slideshow on 'The Secret Life of Crows' to the Townhouse Hotel in Naas this Thursday, October 12, as part of a nationwide tour.
The event is being attended by surprising numbers around the country, leading to queues and extra dates being added to cater for the demand.
His first talk was given in Portlaoise library, and there has been unbelievable demand ever since.
“I have been run off my feet trying to keep up with it,” said Ricky.
“Although crows are deeply embedded in our culture, mythology and everyday parlance — as the crow flies - they are not everyone’s cup of tea.
“Down the country they are often regarded as vermin and they are so plentiful they are often misunderstood.
“The Irish name for crows, préeacháin, is sometimes even used as a pejorative term so it is a pleasant surprise to learn that there is a great deal of latent love in the room for the crow family. They are extremely intelligent and fascinating in their behaviour and hierarchy,” enthused Ricky.
Ricky studied zoology at NUI Galway after completing his leaving certificate in Ballyfin College.
He went on to volunteer in the conservation sector in Ireland before specialising in ornithology and taking up a position with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in the UK where he was based at their reserves in Suffolk and Cambridge for four years, before returning back home.
He is now a project officer with BirdWatch Ireland basing himself between Banagher and Wicklow.
He is also a founder and chairman of the Laois-Offaly Branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) and is chairman of the award winning Abbeyleix Bog restoration project.