Staff from the Brindle and Green Derby office recently spent a cold morning assisting the Sorby Breck Bird Ringing group with a session of bird ringing at a site near Ashover, Derbyshire. The Sorby Breck group carries out bird ringing regularly at various sites in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. Bird ringing involves the capture of wild birds via a mist net, a long 3-metre high mesh net, and the application of a small, individually numbered metal tag to the birds leg. Measurements of the bird are recorded, such as sex, age and wing length, and the bird is then released. Various bird species were caught and tagged during the morning, including Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Nuthatch and Chaffinch.
Ringing helps investigate how long birds live and when and where they move, which is vital information for bird conservation. Placing a light, uniquely numbered ring around a bird’s leg is a reliable and harmless method of identifying birds as individuals. Bird ringing is organised by the British Trust for Ornithology, and volunteers across the country capture and tag approximately 800,000 birds annually.