Thursday, 23 April 2020

Ringing reveals a Goshawk reached a good age
Goshawk in flight

Ringing reveals a Goshawk reached a good age

A fairly freshly dead adult goshawk, found in Wiltshire in non-suspicious circumstances, was reported recently. It had been wearing a metal BTO leg ring and the finder had recorded the number so it was reported to the Ringing Recovery Team at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

Within a few days BTO reported that it was a male, ringed as a nestling on 31 May 2011 in Hampshire. It was found on 20 Apr 2020 in Wiltshire, 3247 days (about 9 years) after it was ringed, and only 10 km from the ringing site.

Some interesting facts discovered from ringing data....
Oldest bird - Manx shearwater, 50 yrs 11 months
Furthest travelled - Arctic Tern, Wales to Australia 18,000 km
Strangest recovery - Osprey ring found in stomach of a crocodile in The Gambia!

Bird Ringing in Britain & Ireland is organised by the BTO. Each year over 900,000 birds are ringed by over 2,500 highly trained bird ringers, most of whom are volunteers. They follow a careful training process that can take several years to complete to ensure that they have the necessary skills to catch and ring birds. The bird's welfare is always the most important consideration during ringing activities.

Ringing began over 100 years ago to study the movements of birds. While it continues to generate information about movements, it also allows us to study how many young birds leave the nest and survive to breed as adults, as well as how many adults live from year to year and how many birds disperse to different breeding sites. Collection of this information helps us to understand why bird populations increase or decrease − vital information for conservation.

Details of how many birds have been caught and where and when they have been found are available on the BTO website - click the link.