Monday, August 07, 2006

Swallows.....


This year sees the final year of the Swallow Roost project. In 2005 over 13,000 swallows were caught and ringed - bringing totals for the project thus far to 38,778 juveniles and 4,505 adults. 224 recoveries have occured to date including a 'classic' - an adult ringed in Bloemfontein South Africa in Jan recaptured at Shotley Sussex the following September. Unfortunately swallow roosts in Merseyside are non-existant and even in near-by Cheshire they are at best transient.

Within the latest Swallow Roost Project Newsletter (free, BTO website, Ringing Pages) there are also some concise results from the Swallow Feeding survey - which we piloted and contributed too in Merseyside. It will probably be no surprise to say that there was a 'feeding' relationship between swallows and cattle (and to a lesser extent horses) but, where cattle were absent, they preferred hedges with mature trees rather than open arable land - possibly due the the larger number of insects associated with hedges and trees.

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