Sunday, 14 February 2016

a wonderful day bird ringing

It's been a wonderful day here at Cordwood.
One of the 25 blue tits ringed today

Our pals Andy and Ann stayed over and set up their bird nets close to our bird feeders before breakfast so that we could discover more about our garden wildlife.

Bird ringing has given us a powerful tool for understanding about the movement of birds. The information gathered from today will be sent to the British Trust for Ornithology and the British Museum and contribute to better understandings of population dynamics. And from a completely selfish point of view would tell us about bird numbers in our garden and give me opportunities to take close-up photos of the birds.

The ringing has no lasting impact on the bird. The weight of the ring is equivalent in weight to hat of a human wrist watch. The birds remain very calm during the process of being measured and ringed. 

Over the day we caught and ringed:

Goldfinch
Lesser Redpoll
4
Coal Tit
3
Blue Tit
25
Great Tit
7
Long Tailed Tit
12
Goldfinch
6
Siskin
3
Robin
5
Chaffinch
2
Nuthatch
1
Greenfinch
1
Goldcrest
2
Blackbird
1
An amazing total.

Long tailed tit
Our previous highest recorded totals for blue tits were around five - the ringing showed us that there are many more birds using the garden than we had realised.

We have regularly counted four long tailed tits and were surprised to know that a dozen birds had been caught.

Long tailed tits are such engaging birds as can be seen from the photo. They move about in family parties, each family having a unique call that identifies it to other family members. Out of respect for their highly-socialised nature, the birds, once ringed, are released together.

And we also learned that the cumulative impact of bird feeding is more powerful than we could ever had expected. Andy and Ann told us that a garden with bird feeders can expect visits from around 200 individual blue tits or great tits during a year.

Bird feeding has an impact that goes well beyond our individual gardens and is vital in keeping birds healthy and in good condition through winter and into the breeding season.

Nineteen of us enjoyed todays fun ranging in age from 4 to 84. Thanks so much to all who joined us and especially to Andy and Ann. Let's do it again!




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