Ringing in the Season

Gary Clewley, a local ringer, joined us at Caerlaverock to help us ring our Tree sparrow chicks from this year. All together we ringed sixteen Tree sparrow and House sparrow chicks and that’s with us being unable to check most of the other boxes. Tree sparrows can have three broods in one year so this is a fantastic start!

bird ringing 1.jpgPhotos by Sandrina Finocchio-Daniels

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Jake and Miriam on our reserve team have training permits to become ringers, so they did the majority of the ringing whist Gary safely retrieved them from the box. It was an amazing experience to ring these chicks, the majority of which came from the new boxes we put up a couple of months ago.

During this, the safety & welfare of the birds is prioritised. Gary is a fully trained ringer with years of experience. The reason we are doing this is that Tree sparrows are under increasing risk as a red listed bird with not a lot of data out there which ringing will add to. This is important to keep record of observations, distinguishing their home range, success in future breeding, and monitor population size.

Sometimes we can give species a helping hand. We have lots of good Kestrel habitat but not so many places they can breed safely. A box we made and put up in a barn at Caerlaverock has been gratefully accepted by a pair of kestrels and we were lucky enough to be able to go along with a licensed ringer, Duncan from North Solway Ringing Group to put rings on the five chicks. Kestrels are declining so ID rings, if found again can give important info on how individual birds are doing.

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Photo by David Pickett