10 August 2018

"Roll up, roll up". Bird ringing at the fair.

All over the country, qualified bird ringers run demonstrations for individuals, groups or anyone coming to a particular site, such as a nature reserve or a farm. These can be fantastic events for engaging non-ringers, highlighting the scientific importance of ringing and explaining what we can learn from monitoring birds.

One of the biggest ringing demonstrations in the country is at Birdfair (17-19 August). Every year, thousands of people stop by to see how ringing works and to view birds close-up, without the need for binoculars.

Guy Anderson showing the crowd

The Birdfair ringing demonstration runs for the duration of the fair (weather permitting) and, if previous years are anything to go by, should provide visitors with views of some great species. Last year, a Sparrowhawk was caught and really drew in the crowds. The more commonly-caught species include Blackcap, Reed and Sedge Warbler and a whole host of tits and finches.

Anyone want to see a Sparrowhawk?

This site, and locations nearby, are usually ringed by the Rutland Water Ringing Group, and this demo helps to increase the effort on the site and adds to the data already collected from their other projects, including their CES.

And if we don't have any birds to ring, we are usually able to 'ring' people with specially-designed rings... If you are going to the fair this year, do come along and find out what it's all about!

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