On a cold January morning, Lockington’s bird team were up before dawn to set up mist nets in the garden at Lockington Hall. The goal: to catch some birds and fit them with metal rings with their own unique number.
Molly, one of our birders, holds a BTO C-Permit, which enables her to catch and ring birds in order to survey populations and gain valuable data including species, age, sex and biometrics. Bird ringing is a useful tool to gain a picture of how birds are using an environment, as well as fluctuations in populations. Ringing recaptures of birds have shown blackbirds migrating to Russia, reed warblers returning from Africa year on year and blue tits living for 12 years!
Fifteen birds were caught, and everyone learnt to hold and ring birds safely as well as enjoying getting up close and personal to some of our common British species, such as long-tailed tit and robin.
The ringing sessions are to become regular opportunities for all our ecologists to learn about our garden species and build identification skills (you don’t forget a blue tit after it has pecked a hole in your finger!). We are looking forward to progressing with these sessions and to catching some interesting birds over the coming months!
You can learn more about this important process by visiting the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website.