The Irish List to the most recent Irish Rare Bird Report on 31st December 2015 is available to download as a PDF by following the link in the right-hand panel. The Irish List consists of all species included in Categories A, B & C (see below for a description of the Category system). The sequence and scientific nomenclature largely follows the IOC World List version 7.1 (Gill & Donsker 2017), replacing the previously referenced BOU British List (British Ornithologists’ Union 2013).

New species are added to the Irish List following their publication in the Irish Rare Bird Report. Species may occasionally be removed from the list when the evidence no longer supports their inclusion. In addition, new data emerges from time to time which can recommend the splitting or lumping of existing species as well as revising the list order. Details of any changes in the Irish List are included in the Announcement pages.

Please note that the list includes four records which are not specifically identified, i.e. Madeiran, Monteiro's or Cape Verde Storm-petrel, Zino's, Fea's or Desertas Petrel, Frigatebird species and Black or White-crowned Wheatear. When known, the relevant subspecies is included in the list. Monotypic species are indicated by a dash in the 'Subspecies' column.

At sea records are those that are observed outside of 30 km (approx. 16.2 nautical miles) from the nearest point of land but within the Exclusive Economic Zone which extends to approximately 370 km (200 nautical miles) offshore or where relevant, the median point between Ireland and Great Britain are assessed and published by the IRBC in the Irish Rare Bird Report, but are excluded from the main list.

National List Category System

The Association of European Rarities Committees (AERC) recommend the use of categories when compiling national lists of species. Many European rare bird committees now follow this practice including the IRBC. The following is a list of the categories in use and their significance:

  • Category A
    Species that have been recorded in an apparently natural state in Ireland at least once since 1st January 1950.
  • Category B
    Species that have been recorded in an apparently natural state in Ireland at least once up to 31st December 1949, but have not been recorded subsequently.
  • Category C1
    Species that, although originally introduced by man, have established feral breeding populations in Ireland which apparently maintain themselves without necessary recourse to further introduction.
  • Category C2
    Species that have occurred, but are considered to have originated from established naturalised populations outside Ireland.
  • Category D1
    Species that would otherwise appear in Categories A or B except that there is a reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state.
  • Category D2
    Species that have arrived through ship or other human assistance.
  • Category D3
    Species that have only ever been found dead on the tideline.
  • Category D4
    Species that would otherwise appear in Category C1 except that their feral populations may or may not be self-supporting.
  • Category E
    Species that have been recorded as introductions, transportees or escapes from captivity.

The category breakdown of the Irish list on 31st December 2015 was as follows:

Category A
Category B
Category C
Total Irish List
Category D
At Sea

Species in Category D are not included in the main Irish List. Whenever a species is assigned to more than one category, the higher category only is included in the statistics. Category A is regarded as the highest.


British Ornithologists’ Union 2013. The British List: a Checklist of Birds of Britain (8th Edition). Ibis 155: 635-676.

Gill, F. & Donsker, D. (eds). 2017. IOC World Bird List (v 7.1). Available from (Accessed January 2017).