Grassy Fields and Rocky Walls

The definition of habitat is the natural home or environment of an animal, plant or organism. Traveling throughout the northwest side of Ireland, our group witnessed many different habitats. When I think of habitats I think of animals and their living conditions, whether they are living in their natural habitat or a man made habitat. For most of the animals we have seen along the way (mostly sheeps and cows) they have huge fields of grassland that they wander about in. This is obviously a more preferred habitat for both the animals and their owners. However, some animals aren’t fortunate enough to have as much room and land to occupy. In the places we have traveled in Ireland the typical habitat is a large field of grass, flowers and very little trees. The animals are usually kept inside rock walls, but some-like sheep-are allowed to wander in the street and wherever they want. This habitat is very natural and healthy for the animals. We don’t see much of this in the United States unless there is a farm, and if not then the animals are usually kept in barns with stalls or cages like chicken coops. There are a lot more free range animals in Ireland and their habitats are a natural process.

When we visited the bird aviary, the habitat that the birds were kept in was a man made cage filled with a few branches and trees. It was nice to see that when they were let out of the cage they like to fly around for the demonstration. However, their habitat is very unnatural and they are trained to come back to the aviary.

The main habitat that we stayed in throughout the trip was a country/rural setting. We had only a few days of small urban towns, but for the most part the population was spread out over a lot of land and grassy fields. We were surrounded by a lot of free range livestock and especially on the island were surrounded by the ocean, rock and not many other buildings or people. If we stayed in the major cities it would have been an entirely different habitat.

Cows grazing…the typical scenery

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