Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Colour-ringingd Robins - alas, halted by the British weather again!

The British weather - a phenomenon we always seem to be talking about and something where there is genuinely (arguably!) always something to be chatting about! And this morning is of no exception. Helping a Masters student at the University of Bristol with a project on robins we were all set for catching and ringing a few more this morning - but then at 4.30 this morning the rain was beating against my bedroom window and the wind speed had turned from calm (and clear starry skies) to gale force! Time to cancel and re-arrange - again!

The project itself involves carefully catching the robins in  a mist net, putting special colour rings that denote each individual on their legs plus a metal ring issued by the British Trust for Ornithology. Our red-breasted friends are then measured, aged and weighed before being released.

Dan, whose Masters project this is, is looking at the alarm calls of the robins and how the individuals
interact with each other - hopefully over the next few weeks before Christmas we'll be able to ring a few more to help Dan know who is who.

Below is a photo of one of the colour-ringed robins - I'm especially interested to see whether any of the robins disappear (perhaps as migrants) and who stays around or the spring to breed.

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