11 January 2010

Ringing Fieldfare

North Notts RG recently captured a sample of Fieldfare and Blackbird in an Orchard where birds were concentrated to feeding on apples.

Over 400 were caught, mainly using a whoosh net.

Biometrics and fat scores were taken on 95% of birds caught and over 100 recaptures provided a good sample to look at weight changes.

Most birds were in good condition between 100-120g, some in excess of 130g and fat scores of 1-3. Less than 5% had weights less than 90g.

A large proporton of the Fieldfare were adults. Had the immature birds moved elsewhere or perished in the cold weather? It would be interesting to know the condition and age ratios of Fieldfare and Blackbird caught by others in different parts of the country during these cold conditions.


  1. Hi Jez

    We have had some success mist-netting Fieldfare feeding on Sea-Buckthorn berries at a local site up here at Nigg on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth in the Highlands.

    Highlights this winter included 508 Fieldfare, 163 Redwing, 69 Blackbirds, 29 Mistle Thrush and 26 Song Thrush. Our Fieldfare catch data revealed the following info -

    Young - 61%
    Adults - 39%

    Male - 39%
    Female - 61%

    Weights -

    Adults - 88 - 119g (average 106.6g)
    Young - 82-124g (average 106.1g)

    Having netted this site for 7 years the elusive foreign control still eludes us! In the past we have controlled 1 bird from Orkney and had 1 controlled at a CES site in Norway. Of 342 ringed at this site last winter 3 were re-trapped here this winter giving an indication that some site fidelity exists.

    As the berry crop diminished groups of birds were seen heading off high to the south so would be good to see if any of our birds turned up down your neck of the woods.

    Rob & Bob Swann

  2. This is one of the best examples I have seen showing how effective a whoosh net can be. Excellent footage, well done!!

    Brendan Kavanagh

  3. 64 Fieldfare 58% young 50% female
    Adults 138 to 94.1 average 115.5
    Young 145 to 92.5 average 112.5

    01229 Ringing Group