Darío Fernández-Bellon


Darío graduated as a Licentiate in Biology at the University of Barcelona (BSc and non-thesis MSc), completed an MSc in Biodiversity & Conservation at Doñana Biological Station, and is currently a PhD candidate at University College Cork. Since 2005 he has worked on research and conservation projects across the world (Spain, Ireland, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Panama, South Africa, etc.). This work has been aimed at improving our understanding of various aspects of the ecology of endangered and non-endangered species, focusing mainly on birds (Cory’s Shearwater, Lapwing, Curlew, Ant-eating Chat, Harpy Eagle, Ridgway’s Hawk, Merlin, Kestrel, Long-eared Owl, Barn Owl, etc.).

Research Interests

Darío is interested in understanding how species respond to the various driving factors of global change at different population, spatial and temporal scales. His PhD at UCC (supervised by John O’Halloran and John Quinn) looks at how a riparian top predator, the Irish Dipper, is affected by long term weather patterns and changes in land use. He is also studying the use of physiological parameters in these birds as a fine-scale, integrative measure of an ecosystem’s quality (see project website). He is also involved in two other projects at UCC studying the interactions between wind energy developments and Hen Harriers and the effects of afforestation on Merlin (for more information see Darío’s personal website).


  1. Wilson, M., Fernández-Bellon, D., Irwin, S. & O’Halloran, J. 2017. Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus population trends in relation to wind farmsBird Study64(1). [doi: 10.1080/00063657.2016.1262815]
  2. D Fernández-Bellon, A Cortés-Avizanda, R Arenas, JA Donázar. 2016. Density-dependent productivity in a colonial vulture at two spatial scalesEcology97; 406-416.
  3. D Fernández-Bellon, S Irwin, M Wilson and J O’Halloran. 2015. Reproductive output of Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus in relation to wind turbine proximityIrish Birds10; 143-150.
  4. J Lusby, D Fernández-Bellon, D Norriss & A Lauder. 2011. Assessing the effectiveness of monitoring methods for Merlin Falco columbarius in Ireland: the Pilot Merlin Survey 2010 Irish Birds 9; 143-154.
  5. D Fernández-Bellon & J Lusby (2011) The effectiveness of playback as a method for monitoring breeding Merlin Falco columbarius in IrelandIrish Birds 9; 155-158.
  6. D Fernández-Bellon & J Lusby (2011) The feeding ecology of Merlin Falco columbarius during the breeding season in Ireland, and an assessment of current diet analysis methodsIrish Birds 9; 159-164.
  7. R Pereyra Lobos, FJ Santander, S Alvarado Orellana, PA Ramírez, L Muñoz, & D Fernández-Bellon (2011) Diet of the Crowned Eagle (Harpyhaliaetus coronatus) during the breeding season in the Monte Desert, Mendoza, ArgentinaJournal of Raptor Research 45; 180-183
  8. P Vila, A Margalida, D Fernández-Bellon, O Lapiedra & J Ramot (2010) Duc (Eagle Owl). In J Baucells (ed.). Els rapinyaires nocturns de Catalunya (Owls of Catalonia). JBC ed., Sta. Eulàlia de Ronçana

Professional Activity

Outreach Activities

The Dipper project has featured on RTE Radio 1 (Mooney goes wild) and RTE television (Creedon’s Weather).

Darío is also passionate about photography and filming, which he sees as great tools for generating awareness on the plight of endangered species and habitats. He is currently involved with Crossing the Line films in the production of several wildlife documentaries, and some of his images and footage have been featured in different publications, media and events:



Darío Fernández-Bellon

Contact Details:


PhD Student


Postgraduate Students

UCC Ornithology Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC North Mall Campus, North Mall, Cork City,